Oticon is a Copenhagen-based hearing aid manufacturer, owned by a Danish hearing healthcare company called William Demant. The inner workings of Oticon technologies and philosophies are developed at the Eriksholm Research Center in Snekkersten, Denmark. Each year since 1997, Oticon has brought a group of international audiology students together to, well, try to cultivate a connection to the company. Being one of the lucky handful who attended, I’ll say that they were quite successful in their endeavor! We listened to lectures on everything from using cortical auditory evoked potentials (by Leslie Grush) for hearing aid verification to how unconscious biases influence the type of hearing aid we recommend to our patients (my personal favorite lecture by Kasper Juul).
We ran around the little city of Helsingør on a scavenger hunt as a team-building activity; my group had audiologists from Turkey, China, Italy, Greece and Norway. We tasted food and alcohol from over 15 countries like the god-knows-what-proof Taiwanese rice wine (it is not really wine, ya’ll) to fresh Turkish almonds from a new audiology friend’s backyard.
Best of all, we all got to chat about how audiology is practiced around the world. After we all flew back to our respective countries, I made a little survey about a few of the topics we talked about most. I infographic-ed some of the results here using the fun, cloud-based infographic maker Venngage. You can also scroll down and click to view or download the PNG here (although it’s not interactive, so links won’t work). The data was too small to truly find any global trends, but it’s fun nonetheless to hear about how different audiology can be. For example, some countries require doctoral degrees to practice audiology (the USA) and others do not require degrees at all (Lithuania). Thank you, Oticon and Eriksholm, but most of all the fun, smart and energetic future audiologists who made the week all that it was!