AuD students responding to a recent ASHA survey listed "unbundling of audiology services" as a top issue affecting the future of audiology. More than 1,000 AuD students in 73 of 74 accredited programs completed the survey. About a fifth (19 percent) of the students plan to graduate from their AuD programs in 2014. The remainder plan to graduate in 2015 (25 percent), 2016 (24 percent), or 2017 or beyond (33 percent).
Unbundling professional products and services
The survey presented students with a list of professional issues and asked them to indicate how important each one is to the future practice of audiology. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) identified "unbundling of audiology services" as critically or moderately important.
Making hearing aids more affordable and accessible
When students were asked how pressures to lower the price of hearing aids [PDF] and to allow consumers to buy hearing aids online will affect the future practice of audiology, more than a third (39 percent) indicated they will have a "medium" impact. Thirty-five percent indicated they will have a "major" impact.
Meeting the growing need for audiology services
When asked how pressures to meet the rising demand for services [PDF] will affect the future practice of audiology, half (50 percent) the students believe they will have a "medium" impact. Twenty-five percent believe they will have a "major" impact.
ASHA continues to monitor these issues to help students and members as they prepare to enter the workforce and/or manage the changing health care landscape. For more information, contact Sarah Slater, ASHA director of surveys and analysis, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: ASHA 2013 Future of Audiology Student Survey