Dr. Virginia Ramachandran – Advocating for the Future of Hearing Health
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran is an audiologist and educational specialist who is currently the Head of Audiology at Oticon and the President-elect at the American Academy of Audiology. She works as an adjunct instructor at Wayne State University and Western Michigan University where she leads courses on amplification. She also spent nearly 15 years as an associate editor at Plural Publishing. Her clinical research has touched on student and professional issues.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- How Dr. Virginia Ramachandran went from social work to audiology
- Tackling the largest issues in amplification today
- How companies monitor the brain function of hearing
- Why hearing aid coverage is scarce and how the problem can be fixed
- The top priorities of the hearing health community
- Why there’s tension between doctors and the healthcare industry
In this episode…
Most people would agree that there needs to be more emphasis on hearing health. However, the necessary policies and advancements are less accepted in reality. This makes it crucial for hearing health to be promoted in both public and private sectors. Few people are up for the challenge, but Dr. Virginia Ramachandran has taken up the mantle.
Dr. Ramachandran is an audiologist, educator, and executive who recently accepted the position of President-elect at the American Academy of Audiology. She has already advocated and trained at Oticon and now extends her talents to an organization that works directly to advance hearing healthcare. Now you have the chance to know exactly what that looks like.
Dr. Mark Syms has an enlightening discussion with Dr. Virginia Ramachandran, the Head of Audiology at Oticon, to discuss advocacy and how to improve the world of hearing health. They go through her work at Oticon, the AAA, and her experiences in the field. The two also touch on the issues with amplification, hearing aid coverage, and the current priorities of the hearing health community. Hear it for yourself on this episode of the ListenUp! podcast.
Resources mentioned in this episode
- Arizona Hearing Center
- The Listen Up! website
- Listen Up!: A Physician’s Guide to Effectively Treating Your Hearing Loss by Dr. Mark Syms
- Dr. Mark Syms on LinkedIn
- Dr. Virginia Ramachandran on LinkedIn
- Mark DeRuiter on LinkedIn
- Brad Stach on LinkedIn
- The American Academy of Audiology
- Gary Rosenblum on LinkedIn
- Dr. Ramachandran’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr. Ramachandran’s secondary email: email@example.com
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 https://www.azhear.com/ or call us at 602-307-9919. We don’t sell hearing aids—we treat your hearing loss.
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 top leaders in healthcare. This episode is brought to you by Listen Up Hearing Centers, I help patients to effectively treat their hearing loss so that they can remain well connected with families and friends and remain independent. The reason I’m so passionate about hearing loss is because I lost my brother Robbie twice, first to his hearing loss from radiation to a brain tumor and then later when he passed away, I only care for years. I’m the e and t. I performed over 10,000 surgeries on the year and have taken care of many more people with hearing loss. I’m the founder of Listen Up Hearing Center. I’m also the author of a book of the same name Listen Up: A Physician’s Guide to Effectively Treating Your Hearing Loss. If you want to learn more about either then go to www.listenuphearing.com to learn more. Today I have a great guest it’s Dr. Virginia Ramachandran. She’s the head of Audiology for Oticon. She’s also a faculty member at Wayne State University where she teaches courses in amplification. Her clinical and research interests have been diverse, but she has particular interest in students and professional issues, which is great for her role at Oticon. She has conducted numerous state national and international presentations has authored many articles, books and book chapters. She has also served as an ad hoc editor for several academic journals, and serves on the editorial board of Plural Publishing. She has an interesting academic background, she is received her BSW MSW ad and PhD all from Wayne State University. And she’s the president elect for the American Academy of Audiology. So there’s a lot of great stuff for us to talk about the chrome shot in Virginia. I hope mark, that’ll work. Great. Welcome to the podcast. Thanks for coming on.
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 1:48
Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Dr. Mark Syms 1:50
So tell me a little about AI. You know, in your background, I was reading that, you know, you started out in social work and then ended up in audiology. I don’t think that’s a, I understand the path, but it is unique. So can you tell the listeners a little bit about that pathway? How you ended up going through social work, or what you went into social work to do? And then how you went into audiology to perhaps to fill it in a different way?
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 2:12
Absolutely. Yeah. So actually, for me, audiology was the one that got away, I was on the fence prior to going the Social Work route. So as an undergrad, you know how indecisive we can be right? And
Dr. Mark Syms 2:26
it’s hard to figure out what you want to do it
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 2:30
exactly, exactly when you don’t quite know. So I was attracted to both both healthy helping professions. And sort of at the last minute, I decided I wanted to go into social work. And I worked for a little while infant mental health. So there is you know, if it’s who are at risk, either due to mental health concerns within the family, really young parents, things like that, and working in people’s homes and, and working with those infants. One of the things that kept coming across, of course, was a lot of middle ear disorder in these kids. And a couple here that had hearing loss. And so I had that little audiology background and calling to me going, you know, that was really what’s so interesting. So, intellectually, I found audiology very interesting. And after I had my son turned out that it was going to cost money for me to work as a social worker. So I ended up going back to school, and I completed my AUD. While I was in my ad program, I was doing a bit of work in lab, one of my faculty members, Mark DeRuiter, and I was doing a research project and and ended up getting hooked on research and write we did my PhD simply because I would love to do it. Yeah, I just love the research part. And so I didn’t really have any dreams of academia or anything like that. I just really wanted to learn to be a researcher as well. So, so that’s how I came to where I am.
Dr. Mark Syms 4:11
Yeah, I think skills of investigating problems in depth are, you know, not not a bad thing. No matter what, even if you’re in a position to help with policy, like you will be for triple A, or any of those things understanding in depth examination of problems, I think is a very useful skill. Yeah, being good. So your research, you teach amplification at your, in your faculty position, so and you work for Oticon which is about predominantly it’s a hearing aid company, yes, they’re an amplification company. So tell me a little bit about your interest in that in that in that I mean, I It’s a huge field, but you know, what are the areas of emphasis are the things that you are interested in etcetera.
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 4:52
So, for Cece and I haven’t unfortunately been able to this past year but had a long history of teaching ample thanks basin for Wayne State off and on for many years. And it’s an introductory class. So it’s always nice to be able to step back and look at the big picture. Fundamentally, though I view even my role at at Oticon is more or less teaching, in every respect. So, in my role as head of audiology, when I first came to Oticon, I worked as a trainer. And so when I went around talking about the instrument software and things like that, and now as head of audiology, I serve as a teacher more at the national level, but also being the voice of the audiologist being the voice for that patient, when I’m in the room with engineers, and marketing people, and they were making business decisions, and so on. So it’s that it’s, it’s all teachings at one level or another. And so I think that that is a role that fits me really well. I never actually wanted to be a teacher, but it just started falling into it overnight.
Dr. Mark Syms 6:07
I think it’s the nature of healthcare actually. Right. So it’s not just the expansion, it’s getting that people, you know, without understanding compliance as well. And so people need to understand the why behind it, I think kind of be days of, well, you just tell me, what I’m going to do. And I’m going to do and I’m not going to ask are long gone. And so part of the process of getting people to engage in their own care is understanding their problems themselves, and being able to understand what the goals are. And I actually, I think most of the dissatisfaction comes from exactly that. A lack of understanding.
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 6:41
I couldn’t agree more. Lots of times people ask, you know, like, do this this way? Or what are your recommendations? And it’s like, well, let’s step back and look at the problem, you know, what are we dealing with? What questions are you’re trying to answer? And really, fundamentally, understanding the nature of a problem can help, you know, provide that pathway so that you’re not just meeting an answer, you’re learning to find the answer, right? And think through it yourself.
Dr. Mark Syms 7:06
So funny, when you wear the Oticon hat, what what type of issues are you tackling in the amplification world there?
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 7:13
Today, I am working on your role, actually, a lot of continuous improvements, in terms of that’s my big project for the day. And the coupling of the instruments to the ears, has a profound impact on what the output of the hearing aids going to be, how it looks, how it feels in the ear, and so on. So that’s a huge component of what I’ve been doing as a as a project is helping with our continuous improvement. for that. I work with our colleagues in Denmark, I serve on the Eric home management board, which is where we do all of our cognitive, psycho acoustic research. Oticon is unique in that it has Eric home really informing not what can we do with the hearing aids, but what did we do with the hearing aids?
Dr. Mark Syms 8:12
Can you expand on that a little I mean, that’s a I mean, I’m not disagreeing with you. But that concept, pretty big, actually. So.
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 8:18
Exactly, exactly. So you know, of course, we don’t hear with our ears, we hear with our brain. And that’s really where we need to start as a field understanding that, you know, when you hear something, when you understand something, your ears were just the processor that that got the sound to the brain, and then the brain has to figure out what to do with it. Your brain doesn’t perceive things coming from two different ears that precedes the single fused image, it is able to localize where sound is coming from, you’re able to pick up speech from a crowded room And sign and all of these are really all about how the brain is working. And so when we design how a hearing aid should work, you know, we’re not looking at the audiogram. We’re not looking at just you know what hearing is lost, we’re not just worried about audibility, we’re worried about what is the brain going to do with what we’re giving it? And so starting with that in mind, then helps to inform. Okay, well, what did we do from a signal processing point of view? So we could do any number of things. Computer Programming, I mean, we, there, the technology is limitless.
Dr. Mark Syms 9:29
Turn it around, if you want, right, so it’s exactly, it’s limited. What you can do is but what’s the best thing to do? Right,
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 9:37
exactly, exactly. So helping and that’s the type of research that’s done, Eric calm is really helping to inform, you know, what’s the next best strategy? And so people with hearing loss report no problems whatsoever. We’re not done, you know, it’s, can we make a simple amplifier store but that’s not good enough, and there’s plenty of those out there. Um, but our job as a manufacturer is to, in our view is to continue to push the boundaries and make refinements about how people are able to perform.
Dr. Mark Syms 10:12
And so from a, you know, 40,000 foot view, how do you monitor the brain? Like how, like, how was that done by love? What are the tools that people use to do that?
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 10:22
That’s a great question. And clinically, we’re a little bit challenged, because we don’t have a lot of the tools in the clinic to do that,
Dr. Mark Syms 10:31
other than with limited research. So what are they? Yeah,
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 10:35
yeah, exactly. So and so because of that, it’s helpful that we do have those research components. So there are various ways, including looking at pupil dilation pupil on a tree. That is, well correlated with listening effort has been since the 1970s. It’s been used as a measure of cognitive effort. So we started using that in our field more recently, from a research perspective. And then we can do things like look at EEG. And it has been used as a measure of effort from some other manufacturers Oticon specifically, Erich Fromm, we’ve been using it to look at actually a following response in the brain, where we can actually be the brain lock on to the the envelope of the speech signal. And in doing that, you can actually then measure the salience of that signal in the brain itself, at higher cortical levels. And that is really nice, because it gives us an indication of the ability to to actually focus in on that speech signal at a higher level.
Dr. Mark Syms 11:46
So you’re kind of measuring the first simple but the journey of the speech sound into up into the brain. Exactly,
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 11:55
exactly. That’s great. And, you know, yeah, yeah. And then, of course, they’re looking at other potential measures down the road. And, and it really, I’ll get to, you know, what is the impact of that hearing loss having on the patient’s life, and that is difficult to measure, in some ways, you know, quality of life questionnaire, things like that. They they seem to be not sensitive, in some respects, to the challenges that people have with hearing loss. But I’ll tell you, at the end of the day, they’re tired, they’re fatigued, they have communication challenges with their family members, and all those things add up to other life challenges as well.
Dr. Mark Syms 12:35
I’m very convinced that even patients and so even the surveys people’s assessment of their own hearing impairment, and I know the research showed this, but people I don’t know, if it got lost in translation, they don’t actually correlate very well with the audiogram. And so you know, even these things that we talk about using within the hearing community are not very powerful. And the reason is, is people don’t know what they don’t hear. And so it’s very hard to actually ask you like, well, you’re not hearing things. Can you tell us how that affects you? It’s like, well, I didn’t know I wasn’t hearing it. Right. And so people self assessment is and so and that is why we need objective tools. Right?
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 13:11
Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, when somebody comes in to the clinic, there is absolutely a stigma out there when it comes to hearing aids when it comes to hearing loss. And so if somebody is in the clinic, it’s because they have a problem.
Dr. Mark Syms 13:26
Well, they’ve already overcome some of the resistance, like making, driving to the office. Right, exactly. It’s amazing. But there are some people who even despite all that they, they’re in total denial, right? Because I always like saying, like, so did your spouse kidnap you and bring you here and didn’t actually tell you why you’re coming? I mean, you know, they’re kind of playing that cat and mouse game of not really admitting what’s going on. Right.
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 13:49
Exactly, exactly. But yeah, they’re sitting there, something happened that made them feel worse than not wanting hearing, whether it’s a family member, or that person, somebody is suffering, right. And what they want is for that problem to go away, regardless of the fact that it’s a hearing loss or any other thing like whatever it is that caused that they’re looking for that to go away. And the hearing loss is one aspect of that. And so, you know, we ended up a lot of times, actually, with marriage counselors, those audiologist or family therapists really trying to get into some motivational interviewing and trying to it’s really behavioral change, rather than any more than anything else.
Dr. Mark Syms 14:35
Yeah. And so, you know, actually, one of the things that came to my mind is, what what effect do you think patient dissatisfaction has on the stigmata stigma of hearing aids, meaning peer to peer negative feedback?
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 14:50
Actually, we don’t see that quite that often. I haven’t seen it very often. Hearing aids satisfaction is higher than it’s ever been, we’ve got a lot of good data from our market tech studies. So in that, especially in the US, hearing aid satisfaction and hearing care satisfaction is extremely high, much higher than
Dr. Mark Syms 15:14
I’m sorry, though, but isn’t that people have actually gotten all the way through? Right. So that doesn’t measure returns or non workers. Right. And so that’s actually when I talk to my patients. That’s the ones I hear well, you know, and a buddy went and tried hearing aids return didn’t go back, right. That’s, yeah. So but I understand people who kind of get to the finish line are very happy.
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 15:36
Yes, absolutely. Yeah. And you know, for some people in a clinical situation, we would find that, you know, they might get hearing aids, but again, if they weren’t quite ready, if they weren’t motivated, then yeah, there’s going to be a return, if they’re finding. And so sometimes the dissatisfaction is really a question of what were their expectations? And what is their motivation? Plenty of times, it was the family members, maybe killed her and bringing their parents in when they went over home to visit them over the holidays. And then, you know, a month later, we’ll see that, that adults, the parents coming back in return you there.
Dr. Mark Syms 16:18
Now, they’re back now.
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 16:20
Exactly, exactly. So I mean, intrinsically, somebody has to feel that these are going to be beneficial, and that they’re going to if they have a problem that needs to be overcome, if they don’t feel they have a problem that needs to be overcome. They don’t see any solution.
Dr. Mark Syms 16:35
Right? Yeah, I just wonder, you know, one of the things I always think about is, I tell patients, your perception doesn’t matter, the audiogram shows the deficit. And so it’s kind of an interesting, I don’t disagree with you. But you know, nobody says, Oh, my gosh, my blood pressure is high, I need to go get high blood pressure medicine, right. It’s an objective measure. But it’s some of it’s the mindset, I don’t disagree with you. I’m just kind of thinking out loud, if that makes sense. Yeah,
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 16:57
it’s a complicated issue of what a person perceives, and but it’s really gets down to what’s the impact on your life? And is this gonna be a solution for you that’s gonna benefit you or not? If they don’t see a problem, or they don’t see the solution working for them, for whatever reason. They will remain uninterested.
Dr. Mark Syms 17:16
Yeah, no, no, I hear. And so I’m sure this is the type of stuff you’re exploring in your clinical instruction. And then your Oticon hat. And then so the third hat you wear is president elect. So when does your term start
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 17:31
at AAA, October 1, for the presidency,
Dr. Mark Syms 17:35
you’re gonna be busy, but I assume you start doing stuff when you’re President Elect, and then past president, so you probably have some continuity or something
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 17:41
like, exactly, exactly.
Dr. Mark Syms 17:43
So in that hat, like, so what are the things that, you know, you see is pressing are really the things that you’re I mean, it’s a totally obviously, it’s a more macroscopic advocacy policy thing. But what are the biggest issues that are I mean, you know, obviously, not to make this to Thailand. But you know, that the build back better with hearing aid coverage, I don’t know if that’s going to be brought back right now, because there’s talk of some of that stuff. But I don’t know if that’s in it. But I think, you know, there was a big talk of hearing aid coverage, and then it kind of just precipitously died out. But anyway, we can talk about the issues that you see in terms of AAA.
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 18:22
Yeah, absolutely. So, policy perspectives, and so on. Of course, we have a lot of advocacy. We work with other professional organizations to that. And we have a lot of representation in terms of our coding and reimbursement, for example, via the AMA, CPT and rough processes. So, yeah, there’s a lot going on.
Dr. Mark Syms 18:48
For the listeners. That’s like an alphabet soup of how things get determined how much they’re gonna be paid. What do we grow and accomplish complex alphabet soup of processes and bureaucracy, so we don’t need to exactly right. People want to stay away, so we won’t go through that.
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 19:04
But from an advocacy perspective, any number of things Yeah. Infant Hearing, ensuring that infants and children have access to hearing screening and early intervention. Those are always top priorities and funding for that needs to be renewed every every few years, for Early Hearing, detection and intervention, student loan forgiveness and trying to help our students who go through four years of graduate education in order to become an audiologist. There are many many areas where hearing is a very important healthcare issue that we advocate for, for hearing care. Now, when it comes to that hearing care and hearing treatments. There are many ways for people to access hearing care. And we are constantly involved in looking at, you know, how can we increase accessibility so that we have been supportive of over the counter hearing aids, for example, and providing feedback to the FDA in terms of their proposed regulations, so that we can ensure patient safety, along with the access and efficacy of the devices. We have worked, trying to ensure that patients can have direct access to audiologists so that they don’t necessarily have to go through a physician. It sounds like okay to hearing those types of things.
Dr. Mark Syms 20:42
So it sounds like you’ve got a lot at your seat at the table when hearing is discussed from a policy point of view. Right? Yeah. So kind of bigger, like, what are the big challenges in audiology, but you said, I mean, I think that’s wonderful. I’m glad you guys are doing that work. There’s a lot of people doing that work. Hopefully, everybody gets along sometimes. And not everybody gets along. And that’s beyond me. But, you know, in terms of like, what are the bigger things that, you know, we need to tackle as a hearing health community and your role is AAA bringing that forward? I mean, this stuff is great. But you know, what I’m saying like, what are the three? Is it man? Is Yeah, I
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 21:21
think the biggest challenge is the notion that hearing care is about a gadget. That statement is about a device. When in fact, we know absolutely, that patients need care. And so trying to help people understand that trying to help patients, trying to help other healthcare professionals, trying to help policymakers really understand that patients need care along with those devices. And we know that absolutely. In working for a hearing aid manufacturer, we absolutely know that we have a global presence. And we know that in countries where people don’t have good access to providers, better hearing aids satisfaction for their uptake of devices this for even if they can get them very cheaply. So and there’s a lot of good research evidence to support that as well. No, I think that’s the biggest one.
Dr. Mark Syms 22:18
I agree with you. I mean, it’s, you know, the one of the things it’s always been follow me is, is, you know, some of the discussions around the policy has been that it’s cost and that don’t get me wrong, I think costs matters. But on the flip side, there are places where cost is not an issue. And the penetrance of hearing aids is not much higher than the United States. And so doing those types of social comparisons, cost is an issue that everybody or just about almost everything they buy, the issue becomes, to me is is cost becomes less of an issue, if you see the value in it. And satisfaction is a representation of value. And so I think we’re both in agreement that it’s the care that matters to get you to that point of getting the value and be having your hearing loss treated frankly, that’s the other thing that I think people underestimate is like you have a non treated medical problem.
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 23:05
Exactly, exactly. And you know, it is interesting. I mean, you bring up a good point when I worked at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit for about 10 years. And in Detroit, there’s a lot of UAW union employee coverage, that great coverage for hearing aids and hearing care. And, you know, I remember a neighbor of mine had come in, and he said that, you know, his wife told them he has hearing loss. And do you think you have hearing loss? Yes, I think I have hearing loss. Do you have trouble? Yes, I have trouble. Do the hearing test. Yes, you who do have hearing loss, your insurance covers hearing aids, fully. I’m not going to do that. Right for coming in, but at least see the form. Now he knows. And so that’s helpful. That’s a starting place. You know, it’s a journey for people, it really does take some time. And there’s a big difference for people between noticing a hearing loss and being bothered sufficiently by that hearing loss to do something about it. And that’s that sort of missing seven years. And we actually have good data that we collect Henry Ford on that. But if you have full coverage, free hearing aid, you would get them earlier, but that people weren’t actually using them. It’s current. And so they come back a few years later,
Dr. Mark Syms 24:19
you may somebody would give them to you earlier, but you actually didn’t get your hearing loss rehabilitated earlier, I think.
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 24:27
Exactly. Exactly. And then, you know, what was interesting, though, was even and then for some people where they had a, like a voucher system, where they could have a substantial reduction in cost of the hearing aids, if they had to pay anything out of pocket, they waited that extra time it was it was they didn’t come and and seek care until they were actually bothered by it.
Dr. Mark Syms 24:50
I think actually, this all falls on us. I think we’re poor at communicating the importance and impact here. I mean, that’s what I’m going to tell you I’m not sure that I mean us I mean globally how Healthcare people, not you and me. My point is, is I think it’s a poorly communicated entity to people. And that’s where this all starts. I definitely think we’re aligned on that concept. Definitely. And so that’s the thing that always I’m not on the policy edge like you are, you know, the seat at the table. But that’s one of the things that always kind of befuddled me is. People say it’s price, but the evidence doesn’t support that it actually is price. I mean, again, money does not grow on trees. So, you know, I mean, but interestingly, hearing aids could be less than going to Starbucks every day, right? Or cigarettes every day. So there’s plenty of things that, you know, relatively speaking. So that’s one of the things that’s always interesting to me. So it’s really a demonstration of value on our part
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 25:47
to that. Oh, absolutely. You know, and I’ve never met an audiologist who left a patient hanging without a solution. You know, it doesn’t matter what their background or socio economic resources are, I mean, we find a solution in some way for everybody. And so that’s where I get I think the care piece is really important, knowing that somebody is looking for that best solution for you, regardless of what your resources are.
Dr. Mark Syms 26:16
Well, it sounds like you’ve got a lot to do. And then a year or so. And obviously, it’s all incremental. And, you know, it’s probably, you know, the wonderful pay, I’m kidding. During your time to advocate for the hearing, for the hearing health community, I really admire that thank you for doing this. It’s probably sometimes a pretty thankless job.
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 26:38
It can be Yeah, and you see a lot of, you know, policy or, you know, just really in the media do when it comes to, for example, over the counter hearing aid legislation, or sorry, the proposal, we have several audiology groups, and, and all sorts of people who, who say, you know, what, like, let’s try to make these, these regulations, be safe, efficacious. And, and then there’s a lot of pushback, in some cases, people accusing industry of like trying to prevent the use going forward. And that’s, there’s no reason for that, you know, any hearing aid manufacturer could turn around and make an over the counter hearing aid tomorrow. There’s no barrier of entry there, you know, so it’s, it’s not about the device. So it’s about the care and missing that care. And just knowing again, it doesn’t work well, unless there’s a professional involved. And that’s where we stand on it. But it’s hard to be vilified in the, in the media about that.
Dr. Mark Syms 27:43
I agree with you. And the only comment I’m gonna say is, is when you step back a little, there are times where clinical audiologist feels like they’re in direct competition with industry due to some of the consolidation and acquisitions that industry have done. And so I think, unfortunately, that stuff bleeds over, and people don’t have a good ability to compartmentalize it. So I totally understand what you’re saying. But I haven’t talked to many people about it. I do understand the issue and but you’re right, I’m not I’m not it’s coming. Right. So it’s the from an advocacy point of view better to be at the table than not to be at the table. Right? Yeah,
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 28:23
Dr. Mark Syms 28:26
Well, this is great. So one of the questions I love to ask people is what’s your favorite song?
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 28:31
My favorite sound is when my little Yorkie nine pound dog, they get the start growling at something like she’s playing
Dr. Mark Syms 28:43
your nine pound dog turns into it. 90 pound dog or at least
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 28:47
exactly. She’s gonna be playing like she’s gonna attacks all day. But like, all your little be, oh,
Dr. Mark Syms 28:57
no, I don’t know how it works. But in our academy, you know, people get to kind of do what they call presidential citations where they get this, they thank people, but I’m not asking you to tell me that. But I also like to ask people like, Who do you think like, who are the people that helped you to get where you are today? And it doesn’t have to be professional. But you know, it’s it’s it’s kind of that I mean, it is similar to I suspect what you get as your role as president of AAA, but I’m not trying to like, you know, do an early reveal. I’m just wondering who are the people you’d be to get here?
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 29:25
Oh, that’s that’s a great question. I appreciate you asking that. I have had so many amazing mentors and colleagues over the years and so you almost pay to start making that list because then it’s like, who am I going to leave out? Because everybody has been so great. From my audiology professional career, Brad stack at Henry Ford Hospital has always been an amazing mentor and colleague and friend. My current I bought Gary Rosenbloom at Oticon, who said, you know, when I was nominated and, and asked to run for triple A’s, but ya know, this is what’s best for the profession and what’s best for the profession is is best for us. So go for it. So many friends and colleagues, so who just support everything and and, gosh, it’s hard to start naming. That’s great. I just want to leave anybody out,
Dr. Mark Syms 30:32
then the answer is ever you know all those people? Well, that’s great. Well, thank you so much. This has been great. And no, I wish you the best on your year of guiding your profession. I think that’s wonderful that you’re doing that. But this has been a great conversation about a bunch of different topics that are passionate to me and obviously passionate to you. And I really appreciate your time. Thanks for coming on. So if people want to get a hold of you, how would they get?
Dr. Virginia Ramachandran 30:57
Oh, they can email me. My email addresses firstname.lastname@example.org. So for starters, my first name first two letters and my last name be VIRA or email@example.com.
Dr. Mark Syms 31:13
Okay, great. So if anybody has any questions or wants to reach out to her, I hope you don’t get inundated, but happy to have it. I very much appreciate. Thank you so much for coming on today. Thank you.
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