Welcome to the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) Pathways to Audiology Interview Series! While many audiologists come from a Communication Science Disorders (CSD) background, others have taken different pathways to the field. In this series, the SAA will interview both audiologists and AuD students who have or are taking non-traditional routes into the profession of audiology.
Our next interview is with Rosette Ruth Reisman, AuD, MBA, CCC-A (she/her).
Q. Give us a brief description of yourself, your pronouns, your official title, where you are currently working, etc.
My name is Rosette Ruth Reisman, AuD, MBA, CCC-A (she/her). I am a licensed audiologist with over a decade of experience working across multiple sectors.
I currently support the profession of audiology on several fronts by educating audiologists on the counseling, fitting, and rehabilitation of hearing implants at MED-EL corporation, furthering the field as a university professor, as well as assessing and rehabilitating auditory processing disorders, with a specialty in individuals with Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder and other comorbid disorders, in my private practice.
I am also a mother of 3 boys and a curious kitten Bella. I enjoy going to the gym with my boys, bike riding, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
Q: Where did you receive your Bachelors and AuD (or PhD)?
I received my BA in communication sciences at Brooklyn College, my AuD from the CUNY Graduate Center, and my MBA degree in general business and healthcare management from Baruch and Hofstra Universities.
Q: What made you want to become a hearing implant audiologist?
The specialty actually chose me! When I was in the process of re-establishing the audiology program at Lenox Hill Hospital, we had patients that were in need of implantable devices. In collaboration with the otologist, we began to implant the patients that we served and established the program one building block at a time. As the program expanded my interest in implants grew and that’s how I transitioned into my role at MED-EL. I now support, educate, and collaborate with other implant professionals who service this very unique population.
Q: What does your day entail as a hearing implant audiologist?
Working with MED-EL, I collaborate with professionals and students in implant facilities and universities throughout the Northeast on fitting MED-EL’s portfolio of implants. In addition to training specialists on the technology and the appropriate candidacy, I also support them in challenging cases and ensure they have all the tools and materials to successfully meet their patient’s needs.
Q: What classes or additional education would you suggest for students wanting to pursue becoming a hearing implant audiologist?
I would definitely subscribe to Audiology Online and complete all the courses that are of interest to you on the topic. Additionally, there is an annual national conference hosted by ACIA that is specifically catered to implant professionals and other regional conferences are offered throughout the country. All manufacturers will host training courses and have academic portals for ongoing growth and learning. I would tap into as many resources as you can to always be up to date on advancements in the field.
Q: What opportunities do you remember from your educational career that helped you solidify your interest in hearing implant audiology?
I pursued audiology after watching my mother experience hearing loss secondary to otosclerosis. However, my interest in implants started when I accidentally met a parent on the NYC subway who was on her way to a cochlear implant evaluation for her one-year-old daughter. She expressed her fears and worries about her daughter growing up with hearing loss and how she was unsure whether the cochlear implants would help her. It was then that I understood the importance of what this technology can do for the hearing impaired and what we should be considering when we are counseling patients and families who are implant candidates. The most important thing I learned is to validate their feelings and concerns and provide them with as much information on all options in a non-biased way so they can make the best decision for their health.
Q: What kind of clinical placements would you suggest to a student wanting to go into hearing implant audiology?
As implant criteria expand, we are starting to see implant services being offered in a wider variety of settings including the hospital, educational and private practice settings. Do your research on the site and evaluate whether it would be the appropriate fit to achieve your professional goals and cater to your areas of interest.
Q: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were deciding to go into implant audiology?
I wish I had a better understanding of the inherent differences between implants, evaluating the research on a deeper level, and counseling patients more appropriately. It is important for patients to know the ins and outs of implant technology today and what that looks like if advances are made in the future. Things I am guilty of not counseling effectively were MRI compatibility, electrode length and its effect on speech perception, structural preservation for the future, restoration of the natural characteristics of the hearing mechanism, and how that affects implant function. Also stressing to patients that the key to success with all auditory impairments is proper aural rehab. When I was in the clinic I would have connected all my patients with each manufacturer’s candidate support team to get a deeper understanding of the available technologies. Allowing patients to choose which is the best implant for them rather than me solely offering what was likely a biased opinion.
Q: Is there anything else you want to say or suggest to students considering going into cochlear implant/bone-anchored hearing device audiology?
Collaborate with professionals that support this population (MDs, audiologists, SLPs, teachers of the deaf), remember your scientific principles especially as it relates to the auditory mechanism, and never stop learning, evolving, and researching. Working on connecting with people and knowing how to counsel compassionately will also serve you well in all aspects of your career and daily life.
This interview was completed by Leah Joshowitz, BS, a second-year audiology student at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York, New York. Leah is a member of the SAA Communications Committee.
Additional resources for those interested in becoming an implant audiologist:
- A Cochlear Implant Experience: Sarah’s Story Part 1
- A Cochlear Implant Experience: Sarah’s Story Part 2
- Becoming a Cochlear Implant Audiologist: Shelly Ozdamar, AuD, CCC-A
- Finding the right AuD program for you:
- eAudiology Online Learning – Offers CEUs specific to implant audiology topics
- Journal Academy of Audiology
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