Pathways to Audiology is an interview series that highlights unconventional paths to becoming an audiologist and individual journeys from where they started to where they are now.
Dr. Whitney Lyle is a recent graduate and pediatric audiologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Here is her journey to audiology:
Describe your discipline, involvement, education, and current place of work.
I am a pediatric audiologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado and have been working there for just over a year. I graduated from Purdue University’s AuD program in May 2018. In my current role, I have the opportunity to serve a variety of different kiddos and their families. My main roles at Children’s include diagnosing and treating children with hearing loss through traditional amplification and bone conduction devices, completing unsedated and sedated auditory evoked potential testing, and being a member of our pediatric vestibular team and our multidisciplinary balance team.
Where were you before you decided to enter into the world of audiology?
In college, I never would have thought about a career in audiology. I was thinking about pursuing physical therapy, speech pathology, and even a business degree at one point. Ultimately, I wanted to be in a helping profession but did not know that was going to be audiology until I had already graduated from college. In a serendipitous turn of events, I had the opportunity to work at Children’s Hospital as their first audiology assistant and realized that was what I wanted to pursue!
What was your undergraduate major?A:
I double majored in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences and Psychology.
What was your first exposure to audiology?
Part of the Speech, Language, and Hearing Science major at the University of Colorado Boulder included audiology classes. I think my first exposure was in psychoacoustics my junior year, but it’s fair to say that was not what drew me to the field.
What made you switch to audiology from your previous track?
I made the decision after learning more about the neuroscience of hearing and gaining an appreciation for using different tests and disciplines to figure out this puzzle that each patient presents with. It wasn’t until I saw audiology in action that I knew I wanted to become an audiologist.
In your opinion, what is the most fascinating thing about the ear?
I love all things related to the brain! I think it is so fascinating how neural maturation works and how our brains are able to adapt to new input. I always tell my patients that their brain is working for them and if they do their part, then their brains will do their parts. My favorite line from a patient’s sister after we fit her with hearing aids was, “Those look so good on you sis–and not only do they look good, but your brain loves them too!” It was super cute!
What advice would you give to someone who is contemplating going into audiology?
Observe, observe, observe!
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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