By Bopanna Ballachanda

Audiologists can differentiate themselves and become leaders in the field by
developing a strong perspective, showing genuine care, and staying well-connected.

This article is a part of the May/June 2024, Volume 36, Number 3, Audiology Today issue.

The field of audiology is constantly evolving, and audiologists must stay up-to-date with the latest advancements to provide the best care to their patients. As Charles Darwin famously noted, it is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change (Megginson, 1963). 

Bopanna Ballachanda, PhD, ABA Certified
President | American Academy of Audiology

Recent research by Diana Emanuel and Jessica Wince confirms that audiologists have the ability and flexibility to make rapid changes to their practice, despite assumptions to the contrary. The study found that audiologists respond to changes in health care by altering their service delivery methods, creating new clinical and patient services, and adapting their practices to more patient-centric customized care delivery (Emanuel and Wince, 2024). The COVID-19 pandemic offered a prime example of audiologists’ ability to pivot quickly and provide telehealth and curbside care.

Audiologists must remain informed of new research and advances in technology that can impact and enhance clinical practice. The future of audiology looks promising, with advancements in areas such as device performance, remote testing and care, new interventions, and research to support better treatment protocols. Additionally, there is increasing pressure for hearing-health care to adopt a more holistic approach to patient care, as evidenced by the expansion of quality measures for audiologists under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System to include metrics such as blood pressure and new directives from the World Health Organization regarding attention to nutritional value in patients with dementia. Audiologists can differentiate themselves and become leaders in hearing-health care by demonstrating genuine care for their patients, staying well-connected, and remaining informed. 

This issue of Audiology Today features articles that are examples of the resources that help us as audiologists to evolve our approaches to optimal patient care. We learn from Chris Spankovich, AuD, PhD, MPH, of his data-driven work to classify perceived hearing difficulty beyond pure-tone audiometry. Just as he challenges traditional thinking, Lauren Ralston, AuD, and Julia Campbell, AuD, PhD, push to move beyond the consensus definition of misophonia to develop diagnostic criteria. Elizabeth Sedunov, AuD, and Bre Myers, AuD, PhD, offer clinical scenarios for how to apply protocols and guidelines in bone conduction testing. These articles inspire us to look at new evidence and experience to change and adapt our clinical practice beyond the status quo.

The article from Colleen Le Prell, PhD, reports on the Academy Research Conference (ARC) 2023, highlighting next-generation inner-ear therapies and experimental intervention efforts. The translational research at this virtual conference offered valuable insights into the profession’s future directions. The upcoming ARC in fall 2024, led by René Gifford, PhD, will provide a conference that will highlight the latest research on implantable devices and their implications for clinical practice.

Audiologists can distinguish themselves as health-care leaders and innovators by embracing change and becoming change agents. Audiologists must secure their position in the hearing-health-care arena and guide their profession by monitoring and adapting to external influences. The profession of audiology is on the brink of significant transformation, and audiologists must be at the forefront of these exciting changes. 


Emanuel DC, Wince J. (2024) Do audiologists react well to change? Audiol Today 36(2):12–24.

Megginson LC. (1963) Lessons from Europe for American business. Southwest Soc Sci Q 44(1):3–13.

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