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Dr. Douglas L. Beck – Exploring the Science Behind Hearing and Listening

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Dr. Douglas L. Beck

Dr. Douglas L. Beck is a well-known figure in audiology and the Vice President of Academic Sciences for Oticon, a company that manufactures adaptive hearing solutions for the modern age. Dr. Beck is a prolific author on the subject, having 185 different publications to date. He’s been with the Oticon since 2005, where many of his research and publications were sourced. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at State University of New York at Buffalo and the Senior Editor of Clinical Research at Hearing Review.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • The night-and-day difference between hearing and listening
  • What are some underexplored factors for dementia and hearing loss?
  • Breaking down the hearing aid’s role in comprehension
  • How audiologists accurately measure the capacity of hearing
  • The undertreatment of hearing loss and why people can’t self-diagnose

In this episode…

Most people are able to identify the difference between hearing and listening, but how does it play out in a clinical setting? People who experience hearing loss don’t even know what they can’t hear, meaning there’s a failure to self-diagnose and understand the extent of their loss. For audiologists, much of their job is identifying that distinction and finding what the patient truly needs.

Dr. Douglas L. Beck has done considerable research and writing in this field, experiencing how hearing and listening play out differently across people. It has led him and his team at Oticon to challenge their preconceived notions and dig deeper into the science of it. Now, Dr. Beck explains his findings and his thoughts with you.

Dr. Mark Syms interviews Dr. Douglas L. Beck, the Vice President of Academic Sciences at Oticon, to talk about hearing loss and the distinction between hearing and listening. They go over the common problems they encounter in their work, the current technology for measuring hearing loss, and the overlooked factors that lead to dementia. They also touch on hearing aids and how they can be optimized. Hear the rest on this episode of the ListenUp! Podcast.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by the Arizona Hearing Center.

The Arizona Hearing Center is a cutting-edge hearing care facility providing comprehensive, family-focused care. Approximately 36 million Americans suffer from some sort of hearing loss, more than half of whom are younger than the age of 65. That’s why the team at the Arizona Hearing Center is focused on providing the highest-quality care using innovative technologies and inclusive treatment plans. 

As the Founder of the Arizona Hearing Center, Dr. Mark Syms is passionate about helping patients effectively treat their hearing loss so that they can stay connected with their family and friends and remain independent. He knows first-hand how hearing loss can impact social connection and effective communication. By relying on three core values—empathy, education, and excellence—Dr. Syms and his team of hearing loss experts are transforming the lives of patients. 

So what are you waiting for? Stop missing out on the conversation and start improving your quality of life today!  

To learn more about the Arizona Hearing Center, visit or call us at 602-307-9919. We don’t sell hearing aids—we treat your hearing loss.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:04  

Welcome to the ListenUp! Podcast where we explore hearing loss communication connections and health

Dr. Mark Syms  0:10  

Hey everybody Dr. Mark Syms here, I’m the host of the ListenUp! podcast where I feature leaders in healthcare. This episode is brought brought to you by Listen Up Hearing Center, we help people to effectively treat their hearing loss are made socially connected, and remain independent. The reason I’m so passionate about hearing loss is because I lost my brother Robbie twice, a first to the hearing loss for radiation to his brain tumor and later from complications from that brain tumor. I only care for ears I’m the EA of at&t, I performed over 10,000 year surgeries and care for 1000s of patients with hearing loss. I have I’m the author of a book called listen up physicians guide to effectively treating your hearing loss to learn more about that go to www listen up hearing that calm. today. I’m very excited. I have Dr. Douglas Beck. He is a prominent audiologist who is an awesome educator I saw give a lecture it was wonderful and that’s why I want to have him on the podcast today. He earned his master’s degree at the University of Buffalo and then his doctorate at University of Florida. Then he went to the house Ear Institute and clinic that’s where I did my fellowship as well. And he did research and cochlear implants and intra operative monitoring. In 1988, he became the director of audiology at St. Louis University, and then he co founded a private practice. Then again he changed and then in 1999, he became the editor in chief of audiology online and These are prominent websites in our area. Dr. Beck joined Oticon in 2005, as the director of professional relations from 2008 to 2015. He was the Web Content Editor for the AAA which is the American Academy of Audiology. In 2016. He became an adjunct professor of communications disorders society at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a 2016, he was appointed the senior editor of clinical research in the hearing review. And then in 2019, Oticon, promoted him to the Vice President of Academic Sciences at Oticon. He’s very prolific is 185 publications, and over 1000 abstracts he’s presented extensively all over the United States and the world. I’m really excited to have him today’s guest. He’s going to be excellent, and he’s going to really help us learn more about hearing loss. Dr. Beck, thanks for coming on.

Dr. Douglas Beck  2:29  

Thank you for having me. Dr. Syms, it’s a pleasure to work with you.

Dr. Mark Syms  2:32  

Yeah, I really appreciate it. So I’m gonna call you Doug call me Mark, and it’ll work out really well. Right. So, you know, one of the things that, you know, we should really start for people to understand is like that talk about the difference between hearing and listening. And then I’ll tell you my story about that. But go ahead and tell us the difference. 

Dr. Douglas Beck  2:50  

Well, the difference is day and night. What happens most often in the professional community, as well as the public, people use the term hearing and listening as synonyms, and they’re not synonymous at all, hearing is just perceiving sound hearing is just detecting sound right now, you can hear that tapping, right, and we can all recognize that and say that’s tapping Well, that’s your central nervous system. You know, we all know about, we have these little air molecules bouncing around in space, and you know, in our atmosphere, they hit your eardrum, they, you know, they go to the ear canal, they hit your eardrum, they move those three little bones, the malleus and the stapes. We go to fluids in the vinegar and deliver the parallel that moves hair cells out or an inner and we go to the brain and all the stuff. So that’s, that’s hearing. That’s a very, very simple function. That’s like feeling a pinprick. That’s like seeing a light, you know, that’s just a very basic low level sensory neuron. central nervous system function. What’s incredibly advanced, is listening. Listening, is when we apply meaning to that sound listening is when we comprehend that sound listening is when we take that neural code going up to the brainstem. And our brain is able to make sense of it and apply meaning. So what happens is, you know, you might have your dad might be 7080 90, your mom, whoever, and you’re at your dinner, and they can’t really make sense of the conversation. So people think, oh, you know, that’s hearing loss that goes with aging. Well, first of all, hearing loss doesn’t necessarily go with aging. You know, hearing loss is 1/3 of all people over age 65. It’s two thirds of the population over age 75, but certainly not 100%. So there are many people who have absolutely normal here and we’ll talk about this in just a minute, despite listening difficulty. Now. So a couple of things that need definition number one, the population of the United States is about 330 million of that about one in 10 Or more specifically, about 38 million people have hearing loss. That means if you do you put them through a hearing test in a sound booth and press the button when you hear the beeps about 37 to 38 million people will have hearing loss on hearing test out of the 330 million or so in the US. But then there’s another 26 million people another 26 million, but no hearing loss whatsoever. But they have trouble decoding sound. It’s called a Supra su pra Supra threshold listening disorder. And then a very common as a matter of fact, it could be things like auditory processing disorders, it can be auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder, it could be koplayer snapped up at the it could be hidden hearing loss, it could be a DD Attention Deficit Disorder, it could be dyslexia, could be Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, it could be traumatic brain injury, but more importantly, it could be mild cognitive impairment. And it could be, you know, early forms of neuro degenerative processes that lead to dementia. And the this is very, very important for us to discover these listening disorders. Because what we know is that the Lancet in 2020, Dr. Livingston and his colleagues came out with this brilliant follow up study showing that about your risk for dementia, about 40% of that risk is due to factors that are modifiable, and I won’t recite all 12 of them. But there are things like hearing loss, diabetes, excessive alcohol use, air pollution, right, lack of exercise, lack of education, all these things contribute to your dementia risk. So we want to have all of those 12 modifiable risk factors, the number one the largest hearing loss, and that’s a you know, it’s kind of startling when you think about it, because we generally think of hearing loss, as you know, running in parallel with aging. But as we said earlier, it doesn’t necessarily do that. And it is a very, very damaging thing because your brain is plastic throughout your entire lifetime. You know, there, of course, it’s more plastic, when you’re a child, you learn language and walk and talk, you know, you learn all those essential skills of life as a child, but your brain is totally capable of changing and learning throughout the entire lifespan. So so it’s very important to keep your hearing as healthy and as well, in good shape as you can throughout your entire lifespan, because the negative deficits of hearing loss are plentiful. And they include things like anxiety and stress. Of course, tinnitus is associated with it, of course, social isolation, all sorts of health risks that are associated with not hearing well. So it’s not just making things louder, it gets to making things clearer. And this This is essentially the discussion that you and I had earlier about signal to noise. But uh, but I just said a lot of things that maybe you want to clarify.

Dr. Mark Syms  7:41  

No, I think you’re right on, you know, it’s, it’s something I talk about all the time that it’s the most modifiable factor for the risk of dementia. Yeah, you know, so I oftentimes use the analogy of high blood pressure. And the reason we treat high blood pressures did decrease your risk of heart attack, and read hearing loss is to decrease your risk of dementia. And so the, it also creates a medical concept rather than a social concept, meaning, you know, there is no such thing as a little high blood pressure, right? I mean, there is, but it’s treat, it should be treated.

Dr. Douglas Beck  8:17  

Right, exactly. And the most common type and degree of hearing loss is, of course, mild to moderate sensory neural meaning inner ear hearing loss. And this is exactly the one that is the most damaging, you know, because it’s the most common, it’s the least diagnosed, I believe the numbers one out of five, or one out of six people with mild to moderate hearing loss will ever get diagnosed. I mean, because what they do what people do in general, as they start to perceive it, right, they perceive it as normal, or they think, Oh, it’s okay, everybody has it. But imagine that in blood pressure, and just a little high blood pressure, that’s okay. But it gets that with aging. It’s not okay, it’s the number one risk of death, you know, other than now that we have the COVID era, but But So So COVID is the number one reason people die in the USA right now. But number two is still cardiovascular stuff. And and so it gets to your point exactly, which is, you know, how much little how much high blood pressure are you willing to risk? And the answer is you shouldn’t risk any. It’s not it’s not just death, right? It’s stroke, it’s having, you know, heart attacks, it’s, you know, quality of life, that would be quite difficult if you suffered negative, you know, adverse effects from cardiovascular disease, which can be preventable with minimal care, just like, you know, blood pressure medicine. I

Dr. Mark Syms  9:35  

agree. 100%. And, and it really is, you know, taking this away from just being a social issue, it’s a medical issue. Absolutely. That’s really essential for people to understand in terms of hearing loss, and that’s one of the reasons I’m passionate about it.

Dr. Douglas Beck  9:48  

Yeah, and I think we have to be because, you know, we are the experts. We are the people that that that, you know, the public will turn to when it’s one out of five or one out of six. And for those people we have To do our very best, because we’re not just helping them here, we’re protecting their brain.

Dr. Mark Syms  10:04  

Right? Right. Well, I mean, right? So it’s it is getting people to understand that it’s so much more than just your ear. Right? That it’s your brain, right? And one of the examples I use is, is foreign languages, right? Just because you’re the foreign language doesn’t mean you understand it, there’s clearly a brain function. You know, if I started speaking man, if somebody started speaking Mandarin Chinese to me, I don’t understand it, my brain doesn’t have that capacity. So, clearly, we do know that the brain is involved in listening and comprehension. 

Dr. Douglas Beck  10:31  

And so it’s such a perfect example. You know, hearing is perceiving sound listening is making sense of smell. And this is the thing that the most difficulty that most of us will have is understanding speech in noise. And that’s a clarity issue. When you think about it, you’re hearing that that Mandarin, you’re hearing French, or Italian, or German or Spanish, or whatever language you don’t speak, you’re hearing it, but you can’t make sense of it. And that’s just a perfect analogy, because that’s what it’s like, when you have any of these Supra threshold listening disorders. You can hear you know, that people are speaking, you’re detecting voices, but you can’t make sense of it. So what the go to, you know, is people think, well, we need to make stuff louder. And the problem with that is when you make it louder, you also make the background noise louder. And any audiologist any otolaryngologist neuro otologist, hearing aid dispenser, any hearing healthcare professional will tell you what most people do after they get hearing aids as they start to take them out, particularly in restaurants. And you wonder why would they do that? Well, because it’s too loud, because it’s too noisy. And because that hearing aid isn’t most hearing aids are not particularly good at separating speech from noise with the goal of good hearing aid fitting is to improve the signal to noise ratio. So that means that I want, the person that I want to attend to, is the person who I want to be louder than the background noise. So we I try not to speak about decibels too much. Because decibels become very scientific very quickly for us as part tripolar to dynes per centimeter squared is our reference point for SPL, nobody wants to hear that. So think about this. Instead, think about if an average conversation occurs at 50, let’s let’s take a scale of zero to 100. And a normal conversation might be at a 50, on a scale of 100. So when you’re in a background noise, that’s it 60, which happens all the time. So you’re at this deficit of 10. And people, you know, it’s very challenging for your brain to say I want to pay attention to this guy at 50. But all the noise around me is 60. So what the hearing aids goal is to take that 50 and try to amplify that a little bit while decreasing that 60 down to maybe a 45. So so when you think about the numbers on a relative continuum like that, it starts to make a little bit more sense. But what most hearing aids do what most amplifiers do, what most over the counter products do, what most steps do personal sound amplifiers, they don’t filter. Right? They make everything louder. So you’re in the office with the patient, and the patient seeing you for sensory neural loss. And they say Well, Dr. Syms, I did fine with you in the office. But when I took my significant other out to eat, we went to dinner that night, I couldn’t understand what he or she was saying. So I took them out. And I heard better. Well, of course you did. Because now your brain has the full complement of sounds. And the the brain needs to have all of that information. In some respects. Traditional hearing aids restrict that. And they they restricted through things like directionality, which could be very helpful in some situations. So if my hearing aid has directional ability to amplify who’s in front of me more than people on set, that’s good. That’s great. As long as you’re facing them, yep. Yeah, as long as you’re facing them, because the benefit there is going to be two or three, it happens to be two or three decibels. But again, don’t worry about the term decibel. So if I’m if my deficit is 10, so I want to pay attention to Dr. Syms are speaking at 50. But we’re in a restaurant world, the noise is 60. And I put on a directional hearing aid that benefits me two or three dB. I’m still at a seven decibel desperate deficit. So so my complaint is gonna be now it’s loud. And I still can’t make sense. But but there are some hearing aids and there’s some very simple technologies. They’re called Digital remote microphones, FM systems, even simple pocket talkers, where somebody might have to speak into a microphone, but now when we’re using those types of technologies, or excellent hearing aids, now we can improve the signal to noise ratio by 567, a directional remote mic. I don’t have one here, but they’re about this size. I don’t know if you can see that. But you know, you might not pin or like you flip that on your collar. Now we’re going to improve the signal to noise ratio by 12 to 15. And and in some situations up you know 15 to 20. So all of us sudden all of that cacophony of noise, all of those distractions, all of those reasons that you can’t understand speech noise go away, because somebody is actually speaking into a microphone and making it a substantial improvement in signal to noise ratio.

Dr. Mark Syms  15:14  

So how do you measure that with the hearing it?

Dr. Douglas Beck  15:18  

Yeah, the best way to do that. I’ve gotten a number of publications on this, but I usually advocate, the easiest, most direct, most pragmatic way to do it, is there are tests that are speech and noise test. And so what I would advocate and this is very difficult for consumer to do on their own, it’s almost impossible. But any hearing care provider can help you with this, you take your own ears, just take them with you go to an audiologist, or a hearing aid dispensing officer an EMT office, and you ask them to do a speech noise test. And that will give us a score. Let’s say the score is five. And then what you want to do is put on your hearing aids, and they’ll test you again on speech and noise. And ideally, clearly, the score should improve maybe to 10 1215. If it doesn’t, then there’s something wrong. I mean, if all the hearing aid is doing is making it louder, well, that solves the problem of it wasn’t too loud. That’s not the number one complaint, the number one complaint is it wasn’t clear enough. So these are not necessarily things that people can do at home. But if you’re buying over the counter products, if you’re by using a hearing aid, that you’re not sure that it fits well, and it’s not acting properly, it’s not really benefit, the number one test to get as a speech to noise test in virtually every effort. Not only can your care professionals do this, but it’s in best practices by the American Academy of Audiology, the American Speech Language Hearing Association, the International hearing society in their best practice statements, every single one of those national organizations says the hearing healthcare providers should be doing a speech and noise test to document the benefit. Because again, if we’re not making it easier to listen, then we’re just making it louder. Now, I

Dr. Mark Syms  17:02  

agree 100%. On me, you know what one of the things I talk to patients about is that, you know, kind of the a one and done or three and done care providers, right? They’ll say, Okay, have your hearing aids, come back and see us if you need us, or Oh, you get two more visits, come back and see us if you need us. And I always say them, how do you know if you need them? If you don’t know what you’re not hearing? Right. And this is really think about it, like you aren’t hearing as well, which is the absence of sensing something. So how are you going to know that you actually need to go back and that’s why we see people who have, you know, totally clogged domes, right, or, you know, non functioning hearing aids, and they don’t even realize that the technology is not helping them. It’s it’s it’s tragic.

Dr. Douglas Beck  17:46  

It is and you know, the there are so many measures that during care professionals can offer now, if he’s just testing the hearing aid, is the hearing aid doing what it’s supposed to do, is it working up to spec, that takes me about three minutes to run a hearing aid in the hearing aid test box and see if it’s programmed correctly, and to see if it is doing what it’s supposed to do. And I can do that with a manufactured expensive hearing aid. And I can do that with a cheap piece of junk that you might have bought at Walmart, you know, because a lot of people, you know, this, people are waiting for OTC and they think it’s going to be magical. I think there’ll be some benefits, I think there’ll be some detriments. You don’t have to wait. If you want to buy a cheap hearing aid, you can go to And you can buy two hearing aids right now for $299. But the problem with those is that you’re picking blindly you don’t know your type and degree of hearing loss. You don’t know if you have a hearing versus a listening disorder. And by the way, there are lots of publications that have said Can patients tell whether they have you know, mild, moderate, severe, profound loss? And can they tell whether it’s a listening disorder hearing disorder? The answer is pretty much no, because of exactly what you said, you can’t know what you can perceive. So it’s, you know, you and I cannot see, ultraviolet, we can’t see X ray, we can’t see, you know, we can’t see the entire visual spectrum, we we see a very, very small, the best example that I can give is with sound. You know, there are sounds that occur all around us that we have no idea even if you have absolutely perfect, perfect hearing, for instance, human hearing is set to go 20 Hertz to 20,000 or two for this a million times over in your career. So 20 years 20,000 hertz, that’s human hearing. But it gets it gets crazy because you think about well, you know, when you and I were kids, we had cassettes. We didn’t have CDs, or mp3 or any of those things. So a cassette, you’d go to buy the really good ones like BASF, or TDK, and XL, and they say, perfectly flat out to 40,000 Hertz. And I’m a musician so I would say Oh, that’s really cool. But humans can’t hear that. And you know, then my musician friends would all say, oh, I can hear the difference. None of them can hear the difference. This is really well known to science. It’s just not really well known to musicians who I love but still So the thing is human error is 20 Hertz to 20,000 Hertz. Um, and of that Not really, because you’re really only using about 30 hertz, maybe 12,000 hertz is where 99.9% In environmental sounds. Yeah. So so if I gave you a tone right now at 15,000 hertz and a tone of 20,000 hertz, you probably couldn’t tell the difference, because human hearing way up at 15. And 20,000. Hertz is not very sensitive, okay, back to my point. But but your dog and your cat, and both hear like 35,000 hertz, and you and I can’t. So there’s sounds that go that your dog can hear. You know, like I raised German Shepherds, I usually raised German Shepherds. And sometimes, you know, your dog will start over. And you look around and you don’t hear anything, you don’t see your dog. Did you know that that’s why we have those dog whistles, which I’ve never used, but you know, that go 30,000 hertz, and your dog totally can perceive that. Whereas you and I get. So this is the thing is that it’s so important to hear. But you have to realize human hearing is not very good in the animal kingdom whales here up to 140,000 hertz, you and I limited to 20,000 hertz again, 12,000 of that might be useful. And this is the thing that’s hearing the reason where the top of the food chain is not our hearing. We’re the top of the few food chain, because of our listening ability, our ability to attribute.

Dr. Mark Syms  21:21  

Yeah, yeah, I mean, you know, one of the big things that I’m concerned about is, you know, I mean, we all talk about non treatment. But I also think, under treatment is a big problem. Yeah, that population who thinks they’ve treated their hearing loss, but they haven’t, right? That’s pretty tough. It’s a tough population, it is.

Dr. Douglas Beck  21:39  

And it’s going to be, it’s going to be difficult for any single person to be able to tell what they’re not perceiving whether, you know, visually, when I when I turned about 40, all of a sudden.

Dr. Mark Syms  21:51  

The letters aren’t clear. So you know, you have a vision problem.

Dr. Douglas Beck  21:53  

Right. And then you put on a pair of really inexpensive glasses, and all of a sudden, I what I remember was seeing my fingerprints again, you know, I didn’t realize that I wasn’t able to see the details of that until I put on glasses. With hearing loss, it comes up very slowly over time for most people. And so they don’t really perceive that they’re no longer hearing what they used to hear, they start to notice things aren’t clear. So that could be hearing loss, that could be a listening disorder. And the only real way to know is you got to go into an office like yours, you need to, you know, get an A, and the whole idea of screening, I think is insane. I am not a fan of screening for anything for anybody at any time. Well, newborn infants grading, yes. And COVID screening, yes. But hearing screening isn’t going to pick up those 26 million people. They have very, very legitimate cute listening disorders that not one screening is going to pick up you go and press the button. When you hear the beep, you’re not going to see a DD ADHD dyslexia, you’re not going to see neurocognitive you’re not going to see mild cognitive impairment, you’re not going to see auditory processing disorders. They don’t show up when your test is only tested lauwers. Right.

Dr. Mark Syms  23:01  

Yeah, I mean, it’s one of those things where interestingly, we all know, you got to measure your blood pressure to see if you have hypertension. And so to the same extent, I think you need your hearing checked and or measured, right. 

Dr. Douglas Beck  23:12  

And when you go in and you getting, you know, if your physician suspects you have high blood pressure, you’re probably going to get an EKG, they’re probably going to look to see if there’s anything else going on. And they’re probably going to order a complete, you know, CBC to see complete blood panel to see what’s going on with this patient in depth. Because oftentimes, when you have high blood pressure, there are secondary things going on. Not always and then hopefully, it’s just a very simple matter. And you could take a pill for the rest of your life and control it and everything will be great. But but we don’t just look at this, this point that you’re making is so important that we don’t just look at your pulse, your respiration and your blood pressure. If we see an abnormality there, we want to rule out there’s anything dangerous going out. And it’s the exact same thing with hearing, when we have a hearing disorder or listening disorder, and they’re not silos you can absolutely have both, right? So so you know, when we see one of those things, it alerts us that you don’t need a screening, you need a diagnostic test. Let’s look deeper, let’s make sure everything’s okay. If everything’s okay, awesome, you when it’s a simple problem, and we can solve it. But if we don’t look to figure out why is this happening, and are there other comorbidities, other secondary issues, you know, we’re missing the forest for the trees. And this is why you went to school for 12 years. And this is why I went to school for eight years is so we know what to look for. And we kind of know how these things work together. And and hearing loss is never simple. Hearing it hearing is relatively simple compared to listening. But there’s so much more to know. And then you brought this up earlier that you know, when you when you look at dementia risk, you know, we’re not just trying to make you hear louder. We’re trying to preserve your brain and your quality of life and make things as good as we can and that’s why we’re licensed to do this kind of work. It’s very Very important that we we don’t get tricked or fooled into thinking that because I read it on the internet is true, because the label says this is a bias to me, you know, professionals. Dr. Google is good, you know, and I think that there’s certainly a place for online searches and for knowledge that we acquire online and on labels and whatnot. But that certainly does not prefer replace professional guidance and professional opinion and professional management.

Dr. Mark Syms  25:27  

Yeah, my mantra is there’s a difference between getting hearing aids and getting your hearing loss treated.

Dr. Douglas Beck  25:33  

Yeah, like that. That’s good. I’ll steal that if you don’t want that.

Dr. Mark Syms  25:36  

Tetting the objects is one thing, getting comprehensive treatment is another and people need their hearing loss treated. Right, right. Well, this has been great Dr. Beck. And I really appreciate it. Hey, if people want to get a hold of you, how do people get ahold of

Dr. Douglas Beck  25:51  

you? Probably the easiest way, I have a website, I’m not trying to sell anything on my website. In fact, my website loses money because I don’t sell anything on my website. But if you go to I think page two or Page Three is a contact me and it shoots an email to me. So All one word. And I now have I think 208 publications, and they’re all available for free. And so you go to the links and PDFs, and you can look down the list there. And if any of them strike you is interesting, you can print them or down. That’s great.

Dr. Mark Syms  26:28  

So the last question I was asked everybody, whether it’s to what is is I ask people you know, we all have mentors in our lives. Who would you thank, like if if this was a word serving me and you’re you’d like they’d say, Who helped you get here? Who would you thank for your journey?

Dr. Douglas Beck  26:44  

You know, in throughout my school. The most important person to me throughout my education was Dr. Jack Katz, who is very well known in audiology and education. He has, he was brilliant. He still is a very, very brilliant scholar, an incredible clinician and just one of the nicest people you’ve ever met. In the second half of my career, once I started getting more and more involved with medical issues, certainly William F House who’s the grandfather of neurotology. Dr. House taught me so much. And most people don’t know his name. I know that but if you if you Google William F house, you’ll see that he invented a couple of really clever things like the middle fossa approach to acoustic neuromas like the trans labyrinthine approach to Instagram as we used to be monitoring facial nerves during acoustic neuroma surgery, because Dr. Bill house thought, Well, I’m looking at the facial recess. I think that’s the facial nerve. I wonder hmm. And you know, we would talk about how to figure that out and we would electrically stimulate it and you know, Dr. House transfer transformed the world neurotology. Before Dr. House was Dr. William F house, your ecologist he was a dentist, and he invented things like the sidearm on microscopes know that it doesn’t really matter anymore. Because in every operating room in the world, you have television cameras all over so that you can watch with the surgeon

Dr. Mark Syms  28:09  

That’s huge in the day because people could watch what was going on. 

Dr. Douglas Beck  28:11  

It was yeah, when I was a lad, I used to look through this periscope to watch what Dr. House was doing on these brains that he was operating on. So he invented that he invented suction irrigation with Jack herb and who was an engineer. I mean, his contributions, unbelievable. And of course, he’s the one who pushed forward cochlear implants in the USA. Most of the people watching this thing put their implants or a new development. They’re actually not the first time 1959 and Bill house did three of them in 1961 in Los Angeles. So that was 60 years ago.

Dr. Mark Syms  28:42  

Yeah, no, I visited Dr. House during my fellowship, I went down. It’s been a couple of days with me. Here’s a really amazing guy.

Dr. Douglas Beck  28:48  

And a real sweetheart. I mean, yes, just you know that no ego whatsoever, very unassuming. He’d be willing to teach anybody anything at any time. So my mentors, I’ve got to Dr. William F. House and Dr. Jenkins. That’s

Dr. Mark Syms  29:01  

great. And so the last question I was asked, What’s your favorite sound?

Dr. Douglas Beck  29:07  

My favorite sound? Probably my daughter’s voices.

Dr. Mark Syms  29:11  

That’s nice. That’s wonderful. So, everybody, we have Dr. Beck here. Thank you for coming on. It’s been a great episode. You know, probably we’ll have to circle around because there’s a lot more to cover. And I think you’re really great at explaining things. But thanks for coming on. This has been great.

Dr. Douglas Beck  29:27  

My pleasure, Dr. Syms, I am grateful and appreciative that you invited me thank you so much.

Outro  29:34  

Thanks for tuning in to the ListenUp! podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click subscribe to get updates on future episodes.

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