“Becoming a __________ Audiologist” is a continuation of the “So You Want to Be a __________ Audiologist” interview series on the SAA website and is dedicated to informing students of the vastness of audiology and how they can become the audiologist they never knew they wanted to be.
Dr. Andrea Gohmert is the Director of Audiology Clinical Operations at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders at the University of Texas-Dallas.
Q: What are some of the responsibilities that come with being a Clinical Director for an AuD program?
- Management of personnel, including staffing, hiring, disciplinary actions, and firing.
- Management of clinic budget – equipment costs, service costs, salaries, benefits etc.
- Pricing of products and services.
- Management and creation of contracts – insurance companies, school contracts, third party contracts.
- Credentialing of providers with contracted providers.
- Management of insurance reimbursement, third party reimbursement, and government reimbursement through Medicare and Medicaid.
- Marketing the practice – website, search engine maximization, collateral, marketing to referral partners.
- Fundraising – part of a nonprofit clinic that has different funds available for the public and clinic.
- Coordination with the academic team to provide student clinical practicum opportunities.
- Scheduling spaces for patient care and student instruction.
- Work with an interdisciplinary team to provide overall services for speech, language, and hearing to the community.
Q: What are some challenges that come with being a Clinical Director?
A: Running a clinic comes with a variety of daily issues from patient complaints, personnel issues, reimbursement issues, and the constant need to continue to market to the public to maintain a busy clinic schedule.
Q: How many patients do you normally see in a day?
A: I see patients once a week. I only see vestibular patients, and only for extensive workups.
Q: Adjacent to that question, describe the diversity of appointments you see in a week?
A: I have chosen to focus on vestibular patients only since all other patients tend to require follow up that I do not have time for with a heavy administrative load. Vestibular patients are usually only seen one time for a diagnostic evaluation of their auditory and vestibular system. This works well with my scheduling availability.
Q: What are the steps you take to place students in different clinical environments?
A: I make sure that our clinic offers as many types of services as possible outside of a hospital setting, on a population from birth to adult patients.
Q: What is some advice you can give to students that might want to become a Clinical Director?
A: I would advise taking some business courses that will train you in budgeting, personnel and human resource issues, insurance contracting, coding, and reimbursement. All of these skills as well as great organization skills are needed to become a Clinical Director.
This interview was completed by Conner Jansen, a first-year AuD student at the University of Texas – Dallas. Conner is a member of the SAA Communications Committee.
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