An Audiovestibular Medicine specialist, or audiologist, manages both adult and child patients with disorders of communication and balance.
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Entry Route into AVM
Applicants need to have completed the foundation year training programme to be eligible for AVM training, with selection taking place before ST3.
There is a choice of five training pathways:
Job Progression as an AVM Specialist
The full training programme for AVM takes at least seven years, but it may be possible to reduce the length of higher speciality training to four years if a trainee has previous experience in a speciality related to AVM.
In addition to the membership examinations, trainees should have also completed the Diploma of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. After completion of higher speciality training, trainees can also obtain a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT).
Trainees can apply for consultant positions six months before obtaining their CCT, and there are opportunities to work in management as a clinical lead, or a clinical or medical director. There are also formal opportunities to become involved in the education and training of junior doctors by working as
- a director of medical education overseeing postgraduate medical training,
- a training programme director responsible for the education of trainee doctors in the local region, or
- an associate dean responsible for managing the training programme.
Academic AVM Roles
Trainees interested in an academic career can apply for an academic clinical fellowship. Alternatively, trainees can continue the ST clinical training programme after ST4 level.
Competition for Audiovestibular Medicine Roles
In 2017, the competition ratio was 9.00 in the first round, with 9 applications for 1 NTN post, and with 67% of applicants applying for Audiovestibular Medicine only.
In December 2017, there were
- 36 consultants,
- 4 associate specialists,
- 1 speciality doctor,
- 17 speciality registrars,
- 1 core trainee, and
- 1 F1 trainee.
The starting salary for junior doctors in England ranges from £26,614 to £46,208, from £37,923 to £87,521 for speciality doctors, and consultants can expect to earn between £76,761 and £103,490. There are additional supplements for on-call work, antisocial hours, and other commitments and situations. For additional information, please check our page on pay scales.
A Day in the Life of an Audiologist
Specialists in AVM work in the community, secondary care, and in specialised academic centres. Most of the work is therefore based in outpatient clinics and there is no on-call commitment. AVM specialists also work as part of a multidisciplinary team, often alongside neurologists, paediatricians, geriatricians, immunologists, speech and language therapists, audiologists and specialist nurses. In addition to running outpatient clinics, daily work may include attending multidisciplinary and academic meetings, performing diagnostic audiovestibular testing, and teaching.