Audiology/Otolaryngology/what's an audioprosthologist?


Felisha wrote at 2006-07-21 14:01:28
Huh, that confuses me a little. I always thought that audiologists had far more training re: medical audiology; cochlear implantation and rehabilitation; pediatric audiology; and amplification and verifification. If what you say is true ("We both do basically the same things.") why aren't "audioprosthologists" employed by universities, schools, or hospitals, or anywhere reputable?

BAM wrote at 2007-02-15 17:29:25
Note that audiologists have a bachelors degree in addition to their Masters and/or Doctorate that they received from an accredited University.

I believe that there is no entry level for an audioprostologist, and there is a possibility that there is no formal training at an accredited institution.

If I am incorrect, please correct me and accept my apology in advance.

Educated Consumer wrote at 2007-02-17 04:24:47
Audioprosthologists and audiologists do NOT the same thing.  Audiologists have Master's and/or Doctorate's in the sciences of hearing and balance.  They study for years to fully understand how the systems work.  Most states only require a 6 month study-at-home course for a hearing aid dealers license, some do not even require a practical exam to show that a hearing aid dealer (or audioprosthologist) can even do a basic hearing screening.  They do not even do full hearing evaluations.  Audioloists are trained how to TREAT hearing loss with hearing aids.  Audioprosthologists are hearing aid dealers with a misleading name that are trained to SELL hearing aids.  Many states are outlawing the term because it is misleading ot the public.  Audioprosthologists are NOT the experts on hearing loss, audiologists are.

John Lythgoe wrote at 2007-07-20 21:35:50
According to a University Professor who teaches both audiologists and audioprosthologist students, an audiologist training consists of about 80% in the nedical area and 20% in the area of hearing loss and fitting hearing aids.

An audioprosthologist receives no formal medical training but receives the same training as an audiologist in the hearing loss and fitting hearing aids.  

Both receive training in performing a hearing evaluation and recommending the treatment whether it is medical or amplification.

Audiologist wrote at 2008-03-11 15:26:24
Audiologists receive extensive education regarding the auditory vestibular system (AVS).  They study about the development of the AVS from the earliest embryonic stages to the geriatric breakdown of the system.

Their education provides them with a unique perspective on what is the normal development and function of the AVS and what is considered abnormal.  They provide a non-medical diagnosis for AVS dysfunction and appropriate rehabilitation approaches.  From the pinna to the central auditory pathways in the cortex, an audiologist education places them at the forefront of all professionals regarding hearing function and dysfunction.

Each audiologist has an undergraduate degree and a Masters degree, with many now also having a doctorate degree in audiology, Ph.D. or Au.D.  This education allows them to assess, diagnosis and rehabilitate the AVS; including the provision of hearing aids and assistive listening devices.

A hearing instrument dispenser… or hearing aid practitioner (HAP) is trained to fit hearing aids for adults.  They can do hearing tests to test hearing sensitivity.  They are trained to recognized medical red flags and refer to a physician when appropriate.  This training is usually by correspondence and varies significantly from state to state in the United States and province to province in Canada.  An audioprosthologist is a HAP with an additional 13 weekends of courses.

An audiologist and an audioprosthologist do not do “basically the same thing.”  

TAC wrote at 2010-10-22 00:46:19

You pathetic little monkeys.  You need to get off your high horses and recognize that audiologists at the M.S./M.A. or Au.D. level are nothing beyond glorified technicians.  We, I am an audiology graduate with my M.S. and C's., no different than hearing aid dispensers or audioprosthologists have to refer patients with varying pathologies to an M.D. for care.  Besides, what makes a doctoral title earned online credible?  As for those who obtained the Au.D. in the traditional educational setting, seriously what can you do that I or a hearing aid dispenser can't do.  Everyone in this wonderful field pushes the same buttons that a monkey could be trained to do.  So, until the day arrives that we, audiology experts at any level, are able to diagnose, prescribe, medicate, and/or surgically correct auditory pathologies we are flashing titles that are just ego candy.  I enjoy our field and helping patients improve their quality of life through better hearing.  Additionally, I love SELLING hearing aids.  Those who take offence to successful sellers of hearing aids are jealous because they haven't mastered that necessary skill to operate and maintain a successful hearing aid practice.  If you really want to be a Dr. earn a Ph.D. so you can teach or go back to school and earn a M.D.  Otherwise, we should embrace our colleagues in this great field, audiologist or not.  This turf war is sickening and exhausting.

Finally, it is important to recognize that there are good and not good in all disciplines in life.  I have some hearing aid dispensing friends that I would refer my parents to before considering an audiologist just because they are audiologists.  Of course the vice versa exists just the same.

Audiologist wrote at 2010-11-09 01:11:07
Actually, audiologists and "audioprosthologists" do not do "basically the same things" in the least.

Audiologists are trained at the Master’s and Doctoral level in the assessment and treatment of hearing loss and balance disorders for birth through adult ages. Audiologists have extensive training in objective and subjective hearing instrument verification techniques and often conduct patient orientation classes and group therapy sessions to augment the provision of hearing instrumentation.  Audiologists are trained in providing comprehensive evaluation of hearing loss, utilizing both objective and subjective methods of testing. Audioprothologists are not trained to provide comprehensive testing of the auditory system. Audiologists provide aural rehabilitation for children and adults. Audiologists program cochlear implants and rehabilitate those with cochlear implants, teaching them HOW to hear again. Audiologists receive extensive training in how to counsel patients who struggle with tinnitus in addition to hearing impairment. Audiologists are trained in the prevention and monitoring of noise-induced hearing loss as well as ototoxic chemical exposure. Audiologists are also trained in intraoperative monitoring of the 7th and 8th cranial nerves to help prevent hearing loss and balance disorders from occurring as a result of surgical procedures of the head and neck. Audiologists provide physical therapy to those with vestibular/balance disorders. Audiologists provide more than a  prosthesis.  Audiologists provide long-term solutions in helping those with a hearing loss cope with the grief, frustration and suffering that go along with losing one’s hearing.  Audiologists are held to a much higher standard of ethics and continuing education than “audioprosthologists". The "advanced" training that an "audioprostologist" receives is equal to about 4 college credits, or the equivalent of one course of an audiologist's entire Master's degree education. To say that audiologists “do basically the same thing as audioprosthologists” is absolutely a lie.

The purpose of this new term "audioprosthologist" is to intentionally mislead the public and blur the line of difference between audiologists with all the expertise, knowledge and continued training that comes with advanced degrees and hearing aid dispensers with slightly more than the minimum required training which varies from state to state as being a high school diploma and a basic skills test to a technical degree from a community college.

Matt J. wrote at 2014-10-30 15:20:19
All depends on field of practice. In terms of fitting hearing aids, look at any Audiology doctorate curriculum and you'll find Audiologists receive about 12 credits of coursework dealing with actual hearing aids. Hearing Instrument Specialists/Audioprosthologists receive the same amount of training regarding hearing aids before receiving their licenses through their respective states. If your issue is more than just hearing, (i.e. balance disorder), visit an ENT doctor. Let us not forget that decades ago Audiologists weren't even allowed to touch hearing aids, and it was H.I.S. that did all of the programming, and audiologic rehabilitation.

The quality of care you receive with hearing aids also depends on where you go, and you get what you pay for. Find a practitioner that makes you feel comfortable. I've seen my share of bad H.I.S. and bad AuD's. When it comes down to hearing aids, you can spend $100k on a 4 year AuD program, or you can do the same in just under a year with an H.I.S. license, IMO, AuD's are one of the most useless doctoral degrees you can do, unless you have a dying passion to hold that degree.  


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Dave Walker, A.C.A. (Audioprosthologist)


I will be happy to attempt to answer any questions concerning hearing loss as related to helping understand the psychological, physical, and trauma associated with fitting and adjusting to hearing instruments. I have been fitting and dispensing hearing instruments for the past 12 years and am a board certified audioprosthologist. I also personally wear hearing instruments and can relate to those with the problem.


Have been wearing hearing aids since 1979. Have worn each style at some point in time. Have been a licensed dispenser since 1984. Am a board certified Audioprosthologist.

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