June 2016 President's Corner

June 2016 President's Corner

Right now, students are moving forward in their education and the Class of 2016 is preparing to enter the professional realm of audiology. For some people, it’s extremely daunting to take that next step. For others, it’s exhilarating to face the changes and challenges that come with moving forward. 

It always seems like times of change cause people to reflect on what has happened in their past. For me, that means looking back at my last four years of school, the last three years volunteering with the SAA nationally, and looking ahead at starting my career. Everyone’s individual experiences in audiology provide them with a unique outlook on the field, where it has been, and the future it holds. My experiences this year on the SAA Board have given me a lot of hope for the future of our field and where it is headed in the next few years. Here are a few things I’ve seen we need to be vigilant about to help audiology reach its full potential:

Change is possible.
Margaret Mead, a cultural anthropologist, is quoted as saying, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. It is the only thing that ever has.” This is happening constantly within the SAA. Whether a few people from your chapter are planning an event or a national committee is creating a new way to reach other future health professionals, there are always audiologists looking for ways to improve our field, collaborate, and change it for the better.

We all have to be involved in the future.
It takes everyone working together to make changes in our field and our world. A few people can start the process, but everyone has to jump on board at some point. A great example in the history of audiology is the change to the AuD. A few leaders in the field recognized the need for a doctoral level degree and began planning for its implementation. Over the following years, with a lot of hard work and dedication, their idea became a reality as many professionals backed the movement. We have to be involved in similar movements going forward. If every idea isn’t supported because it doesn’t completely agree with everyone’s individual ideals, we can’t improve or change. Compromise is necessary in any change. We have to be willing to accept it, work with it, and make it our own to best care for our patients and profession.

We have a voice and need to use it.
Often times, as students, we feel like our opinions don’t matter and our voices are never heard. Sometimes, it is heard and is misrepresented by those speaking for us. It is essential that our voices are present and recognized through publications, lectures, and discussions. Just because we are students does not mean we are oblivious to the world around us. We get to see all aspects of the field and are working closely with our peers daily. This gives us a unique insight into where the field is, what improvements can be made, and where we need to go. However, if we continue to let our voices be stifled, they will never be heard.  our opinions and voice matter. Use it to make a difference.

Change is going to happen in our lives and our field regularly. We see it in technology, the market landscape, and our patients. We want to see it legislatively and within the medical field. However, if we, as the future of our field, continue the hostility that has been present legislatively, organizationally, and professionally, the changes which need to occur never will. Always remember to keep an open mind and speak your opinion, but be humble enough to recognize that your idea may not be the best. It will take all of us to make our field flourish into what we know it can be. All it takes from you is making your voice heard.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to serve as your SAA President this past year. I’ve been able to watch what our chapters do day to day and see the changes you have made to make our organization and field stronger. Everyone involved in our organization, from the local chapter members to the national Board and our advisors, make me excited to be in audiology and involved in moving our profession forward. Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do for many years to come.

Kaitlyn Kennedy, SAA President