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Clinical Experiences at UC San Diego

Balance Clinic

Balance Clinic with Dr. Benitez is always interesting and fun. Left to right: Kristen Cowart, Lesli Guthrie, Luis Benitez. 2004

Second year AuD students at UC San Diego participate in varying degrees in clinical activities in a busy neurotology clinic. Students can follow patients from initial assessments, to diagnosis, to surgery and follow-up treatment during the course of the year. They interact with neurotologists, nurse practitioners, medical students, residents and fellows, and professionals in interdisciplinary healthcare teams. Each student rotates through a variety of clinics where, with 100% supervision, they learn to take thorough case histories; administer and interpret tests; formulate treatment plans; advise, educate and counsel patients; and provide treatment for a primarily adult population:

Audiology Clinic

Each student is assigned to an Audiology Clinic each quarter with one of 4 preceptors. Typical experiences encompass audiologic assessment and (re)habilitation:

Comprehensive Audiologic Assessments

  • Puretone audiometry
  • Speech recognition threshold
  • Word recognition testing
  • Immittance assessment
  • Multifrequency/multicomponent tympanometry
  • Tests of malingering
  • Otoacoustic emission measurements

Audiologic Rehabilitation

  • Assist with prescription/dispensing of hearing aids using real-ear probe measures to verify fittings
  • Troubleshoot and make hearing aid repairs
  • Patient orientation and fittings for Baha
  • Patient and family member counseling re: listening strategies
  • Selection of assistive listening devices
  • Tinnitus evaluations and treatments
  • Provision of noise protection and musician earphones

Additional experiences are also completed each of the following areas:

Student Discusses a Case

AuD student discusses a case with Nurse Practitioner Sharon Mick.

Balance Clinic Rotation

  • Vestibular rehabilitation

Cochlear Implant Clinic Rotation

  • Cochlear implant evaluations, mapping and reprogramming in adults up to 90+ years old.

Cystic Fibrosis Clinic Rotation
Working side-by-side with physicians, nurses, nutritionists, social workers, pulmonary specialists, AuD students identify patients at risk for ototoxicity and then monitor hearing and vestibular function.

  • Ototoxic monitoring via ultrahigh frequency audiometry and otoacoustic emissions
Ear Surgery

Students observe ear surgeries during preceptorship with UCSD neurotologists.

Auditory and Vestibular Evoked Potentials Rotation

  • Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER)
  • Electrocochleography (EcoG)
  • Cochlear Hydrops Analysis Masking Procedure (CHAMP)
  • StackedABR
  • Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP)
  • Electroneurography (EnoG)

Intraoperative Monitoring
Students will complete a surgical observation in which intra-operative monitoring is performed. This is a requirement of AUD 275.

Childrens Hospital Observation
In preparation for pediatric audiology rotations in Year 3, students in Year 2 complete observations in two interdisciplinary clinics, the Craniofacial Clinic and the Cleft Palate Clinic.

UCSD Student Run Free Clinic
UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project, in partnership with the community, provides accessible, quality healthcare for the underserved in a respectful environment in which students, health professionals, patients, and community members learn from one another.


Discussing cases during Preceptorship in otolaryngology with UCSD neurotologists and medical residents.

Preceptorship in Otolaryngology
Students complete a 10-week rotation with a neurotologist in a busy clinic. This occurs alongside medical students, residents, and fellows. The experience includes clinical observation of pre- and post-surgical patients being evaluated and treated for outer/middle/inner ear disorders and balance disorders and treatments such as:

  • Meniere's Disease
  • Cochlear and vestibular hydrops
  • Otosclerosis
  • Complications of otitis media (e.g. cholesteatoma, mastoiditis)
  • Autoimmune inner ear disorders (AIED)
  • Sudden sensorineural hearing loss
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Tinnitus
  • Temporal bone factures
  • Medical/legal cases
  • Vestibular disorders (e.g. labyrinthitis, BPPV)
  • Implanted hearing aids (e.g. BAHA)
  • Vascular loop compression of the VIIIth cranial nerve
  • Eustachian tube dysfunction assessment
  • External otitis
  • 3rd window pathologies such as superior canal dehiscence.

Surgery Observations Have Included
Tympanoplasty, stapedectomy, labrynthectomy, endolymphatic shunt, meatalplasty, mastoidectomy, BAHA, exostoses excision, fistula repair, cholesteatoma and acoustic neuroma removal, and cochlear implantation.