Transitioning from the Classroom to the Clinic, a Student Perspective

Transitioning from the Classroom to the Clinic, a Student Perspective

MEMy name is Michael Everett. I recently completed my audiology degree at the University of Western Ontario and have spent the past eight weeks working as an intern with Hearing Institute Atlantic. I would like to share some thoughts on my journey into professional life as an audiologist.

I loved going to Western. I had great professors, made lasting friendships, and the audiology equipment was first-class. Each day was filled with challenging learning opportunities. Over the course of my degree I learned more about assessing and treating hearing loss than I had ever known existed. Nevertheless, upon beginning my internship I quickly discovered that all I had learned would not be enough. You can only learn so much about the real world with your nose stuck in a book, and life is rarely as simple, clean, or predictable as it appears in the classroom.

One of my favourite professors was fond of saying “There is no average ear”. He reminded us that despite all the research predicting what an “average” patient needs, everyone is unique. This common truth can be surprisingly easy to forget when you find yourself caught up wrestling with equipment or trying to remember exactly how a certain procedure should go. Yet time and time again I’ve seen how spending a little extra time listening to the details of someone’s situation can change their course of treatment for the better. An audiologist may be an expert about hearing, but only you are an expert about yourself.

The benefits of embracing the uniqueness of each patient go far beyond finding the best hearing solution. I’ve been pleased and honoured to share in patients’ stories about life in the past, hopes for the future, vacations south, misadventures, and what it’s like to immigrate to Canada.

I’ve learned that audiology isn’t just about being able to hear – it’s about the value of being heard. As I enter my career I am excited about how much I’ll continue to learn from patients every day. Though my formal schooling may have ended (for now!), my real education has just begun.

Hearing Institute Atlantic would like to congratulate Michael on the completion of his Audiology program and wish him all the best in his future career.