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Day 1 is in the books. I spent today at the Student Academy of Audiology’s first annual CSI: Case Studies Investigation. This was mini conference just for students. There were various invited speakers and 5 sessions throughout the day. The opening session was led by Dr. Harvey Abrams and focused on evidence based practice. I am currently in a class on EBP with Dr. Robyn Cox, who is widely regarded as the queen of EBP. It was neat seeing Dr. Abrams material and how much of it was based on the EBP articles Dr. Cox has written. I made the comment to Dr. Abrams after the session that it was like he’d been sitting in class with me in Memphis for the first month of the semester.

 

The next 3 sessions we had the opportunity to choose between 2 session. I chose the Electrophysiology course led by Dr. Jennifer Shinn and Dr. Jay Hall. This was an incredibly difficult decision as Dr. Rene Gifford was presenting on cochlear implants next door. My 4th year externship is going to be at an ENT practice (where they do don’t do CIs) so I felt Electrophys would be more relevant. I was quite content with the choice I made. ABR is widely regarded has having incredible specificity and sensitivity (>90%) in identifying 8th nerve  tumors >1cm in size. Unfortunately, sensitivity takes a big hit for tumors < 1cm in size dropping to between 40-80% depending on the study you read. Obviously, early identification is better which means finding the tumors when they are smaller! Dr. Shinn presented some research that they conducted in which they analyzed data on patients with confirmed small tumors. When they looked at differences between ABR thresholds and auditory thresholds, a difference of greater than 25 dB showed 100% sensitivity. Now, they did have a small n of only 7, but I think there is definitely some potential. Dr. Shinn offered to send anyone who was interested a copy of the article, so I’ll be reading it when I get back home and will hopefully report more.

I also really enjoyed a session on pediatric clinical decision making analysis by Dr. Allison Grimes of UCLA and Dr. Richard Roberts presented on vestibular. This was my 3rd time hearing his presentation and I highly recommend anyone who has the opportunity to take in one his sessions to do. He does a phenomenal job breaking down assesssment, highlighting the fact that we should just be doing VNG or calorics and sending patients back to the ENT with the same info they arrived with, “Yes, they have problem, but I don’t know what it is” emphasizing development of a thorough test battery that really allows you to thoroughly test the vestibular system.

What does tomorrow hold in store? Opening session at 10am. Then the exhibit hall opens at 11:30. I’ll be at the ASHA booth most of the day today (booth #373). I’ll be the tall dude wearing the ear tie. Also, I know a lot of  students have concerns about the Praxis exam. Well, we have Kathy Pruner here from ETS who will be available at the booth to talk to both professionals and students. There are even some scheduled information sessions about the Praxis at the booth as well.

Thursday: 11:35am-11:55am and 2:45-3:05

Friday: 11:10-11:30 and 2:35-2:55

 

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