Briefly describe your daily job duties.
own an audiology practice. I work with the hearing impaired to improve their communication and overall quality of life by improving their hearing. My staff includes 3 audiologists, 2 support staff, and a partnership with a physician. We see anywhere between 8 to 18 hearing-impaired patients a day. My practice does complete audiological evaluations for children and adults, tinnitus evaluations and treatment, and hearing aid evaluations and fittings.
Describe how stuttering makes you a better, more valued contributor at work.
Before I got into the audiology field, I worked as a musician as well as a soundman, so my ears were always important to me. In 2006, I suffered a sudden hearing loss, so, along with my stutter, I gained the increased ability to better empathize with patients.
What is your proudest moment at your current company?
When I’m paying attention to my fluency, my speech is slower, clearer, and more powerful. (I call it my “audiology voice”.) I’ve had many patients tell me that if everyone spoke the way I do, they wouldn’t need hearing aids. Every time I hear that, I smile a little wider inside as I’m being complimented for effective verbal communication by someone who can’t hear well. The irony is NOT lost on me at all. I guess that choosing the field I’m in is the best way to say that I LOVE a challenge.
I’m also proud to help improve the lives of children. One of the things that is always impacted with untreated hearing loss in children is language in terms of acquisition and expressive language. For example, if you can’t hear English clearly, your ability to integrate it and repeat it can be compromised. This is why children who have a history of chronic ear infections tend to speak not as clearly. I’m giving children the ability to get to whatever their potential is as their hearing will not be an impediment anymore. It makes my chest puff out with pride knowing I’ve made someone’s life markedly better.
What are your long-term career aspirations?
The provider in me wants to help as many people as I can. The parent in me wants to be as busy as I can to be able to do more things for my child. The businessman in me wants to be as financially successful as I can so that when it is time to retire, I can sell my practice and live the good life with my family.
What’s your best advice for people who stutter just entering the workplace and for those in a career striving to achieve greater success?
You care more about your speech than anyone else you’ll meet in your life. Stay out of your own head and if you’re good enough to do the job, you’ll get the job and succeed at it.