Hi xbulder - thanks for your interest…
where to start… I’ve got a bit of a spiel on myself at my website www.graysonrileyaudiology.com.au
I graduated as an audiologist in 2005 - prior to that I work for Australian Hearing (the government hearing provider) as a technician.
SInce graduation I worked for Australian Hearing as an Audiologist (only lasted 12 months before the “sausage factory” mentality got to me)… I spent two years at siemens (ironically spending most of my time training AH clinicians). In 2008 I opened my own clinic in Brisbane, then another soon after up on the Sunshine Coast at Noosa.
I’ve got good relationships with all the manufactuers (audiology is a small circle in Australia - everyone knows everyone) I’ve also tried most brands. I primarily fit siemens, bernafon and starkey - but I don’t limit myself. It’s a fine line between pursuing economies of scale (AH for example solely uses siemens so they get them cheap) and keeping abreast of all models to best meet consumer needs.
Issues we have in Australia include increasing vertical integration (i.e manufacturers buying clinics) - it’s one of the reasons I don’t use oticon much even though I won’t complain about their hearing aids which are good - but they compete with me!!!
Also - smaller independent clinics are tending to be sold off to these large chains - audiologist IMHO are being forced to be salespeople first and clinicians second which is a real shame
The other issue I have (and I’m a little torn on this one) is the growing trend of buying hearing aids on-line.
As a consumer I’m all for reducing the price of hearing aids - but the reduction in standards and service bothers me. There are times when I think why did I bother doing my masters degree when someone can just advertise on the web - do a “first fit” and send them out.
As far as my hearing impairment goes - I wish I didn’t have it but it REALLY helps my ability as an audiologist (I’m not sure how anybody without a hearing loss, including audiologists can fully understand occlusion, issues with cutlery, with comfort, and the perceptual rather than just theoretical differences between devices and technology levels) - I do have to be careful not to put my own stuff on other people though!
I’m still searching for the “perfect” hearing aid and also the best delivery model to help people (i.e best service low prices) if anyone has any ideas I’m all ears