Teaching Vestibular Courses to Graduate Students -Part II

How much training in vestibular assessment do students really need? Part II


This is the second and final installment in this post from guest blogger Jim Baer, Au.D., faculty member at Lamar University.  This week, Jim wraps up by discussing what he has learned from his students

As the course instructor, three things astounded me: First, the students were truly enjoying the work and having fun. Second, these third year doctoral students were completing extremely complex and involved cases and reaching the correct conclusions nearly 100% of the time. Finally, I was fortunate to be witness to my students taking their first steps away from “technician” status, which was amazing. Thinking back to my own education, (which was excellent), I have to admit that these students achieved a level of comprehension that I did not have after completing my single course focused on vestibular diagnostics.

In a major turn-around from previous years, a record number of students who took the new EP III course have expressed a strong desire to find externship sites that offer vestibular learning opportunities. Do they know everything there is to know about vestibular testing and diagnostics? Of course not. Do they now have the confidence to seek out learning opportunities to further their education during the externship and beyond? I can happily report that it seems they have.

I was taught to answer my research question by the conclusion of the paper. So “how much training in vestibular assessment do students really need”? I’ll let you know when I have an answer. I know that we’ve taken a great stride forward by adding this course to the curriculum. I also know that I’ll be taking my students’ advice and expanding this course from a 6 week summer class to a full 12 week course.


About Alan Desmond

Dr. Alan Desmond is the director of the Balance Disorders Program at Wake Forest Baptist Health Center, and holds an adjunct assistant professor faculty position at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. In 2015, he received the Presidents Award from the American Academy of Audiology.