Welcome to a fresh, new, shiny and bright 2016! As this year’s President of our wonderful state academy, I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce myself and share some thoughts on making 2016 an exciting year for audiology in the State of California! As a native of the greater Sacramento area I have had the opportunity to work in exciting and diverse environments such as the California Ear Institute in Palo Alto and at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. Gaining experiences in both busy Otology practices as well as mentoring students and running a clinic in academia has provided me with the confidence to venture out on my own. I opened a private practice in Elk Grove with my husband in early 2015 and am loving every single minute with all the challenges and rewards! Combined with keeping up with my toddler and 3rd grader, both very busy boys, I would say 2016 looks to be no less exciting!
As I continue to grow professionally with each new year, so do all of you and so does our Academy. I would like to share three goals for myself, for all of you and for our organization for 2016:
Effervesce– We all know how easy it is to get bogged down in the day-to-day operations and details of our “job.” With all the new challenges presented in 2015 regarding billing and coding, the continued growth of major retail competitors, further challenges to our profession from Washington D.C. with the PCAST recommendations to name a few, it is easy to become frustrated, stressed and to disengage. But don’t let this happen. Remember how excited you were to choose Audiology as a career not as a job. Take joy in the daily affects you have on your patients’ lives, how you positively impact their ability to communicate with friends and family or how you can encourage students to consider joining our ranks in this incredibly diverse, exciting, rewarding profession that is full of opportunity with a bright future.
Advocate– Exercise a strong and clear voice for your patients and for each other. When it comes to hearing health care, we are the experts and our patients trust us to guide them. Do not shy away from making strong recommendations whether that be the best physician to refer them to or the best products needed to fit their unique needs. Advocate for yourself and why you are so valuable, we all have an incredible education and skill set as well as many other tools at our disposal to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. Have the confidence to make recommendations with clear reasons and I trust you will find your patients thank you for it. Once you find that confidence, consider further expressing it by advocating for our field at the state level. We need loud, strong voices to help lead us (your Board of Directors) in taking on issues that you find to be important regarding our profession. At the least, advocate to your colleagues about the importance of supporting our Academy by becoming a member!
Mentor– As any of us who are in a position to hire Audiologists knows, we are in a severe drought when it comes to our profession. We have had a steady, but small stream of graduates from the San Diego program and should all be thrilled with the newly opened UOP program in San Francisco and its future contribution to enriching our state with more Audiologists. As we continue to enthusiastically support these programs as well as pursue continued efforts to encourage more Au.D. programs in California we desperately need mentors. I am contacted weekly by students from undergraduate programs searching for an office willing to just let them come observe and learn more about audiology as they consider attending graduate school and the profession in general. Surprisingly, they have a very difficult time finding clinics that are willing to let them come in. The days I have students with me are the ones I look forward to the most. I find it exciting to talk with them about all the different areas of audiology and career paths open to them. This is where I find I effervesce and get that shot of renewed energy and excitement about what we do and who we are.
In closing, I am honored to serve as your 2016 President of the California Academy of Audiology and hope that I can inspire some renewed excitement and fresh outlook on the future of our profession. Stay tuned for changes and announcements to assist in obtaining an effervescent year full of advocating and mentoring! Please do not hesitate to share ideas, inspirations, thoughts, and even complaints with me and your board of directors as we all continue to work hard on behalf of all audiologists in the State of California.
“Hears” to an exciting 2016!
Amy White, Au.D.
2016 CAA President