Brendan Fitzgerald

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What made you choose the CDS field?
I had been teaching music for several years and decided to change careers. I was interested in how people hear and understand sounds and voices, so I investigated what career would allow me to help people while continuing to nurture my love of sound. Audiology was not something I knew much about, but I quickly realized it could offer what I was looking for and so much more by helping those with tinnitus, hearing loss, and balance disorders.

Why UB? Why did you choose UB for your undergraduate or your graduate program? What stood out to you, what did you like or anything different UB offered compared to other programs?
I had gotten my undergraduate and graduate degrees in music from UB and knew that it afforded me access to great instructors, lots of resources, and an affordable tuition. I was excited to learn that the UB Communicative Disorders and Sciences Department has a very important role in tinnitus research and management and it quickly became my first choice.  When meeting with faculty, they welcomed my previous experiences and outlined my curriculum clearly so that I could plan how long the program would take.

How has your time at UB prepared you for your current endeavors?
Coursework at UB helped me learn a variety of best practices in clinical audiology and to develop an ability to understand research to inform my clinical practice. My time at the UB Clinic reinforced my understanding and I was supported in finding diverse and challenging outside clinical placements including a private practice, a local VA, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and eventually a final year clinical externship at the Cleveland Clinic. My advisors helped me refine my research in meditation and bothersome tinnitus and ultimately our findings were published.

Where are you now? Please note your work location and what you do.
I am currently a Clinical Audiologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center where I work with a large team of audiologists and otolaryngology providers. My time is spent performing a variety of diagnostic testing and aural rehabilitation, which often includes hearing aids.  I also perform vestibular evaluations and am a provider in the Tinnitus Management Program.  I also work with musicians regularly in hearing conservation, custom hearing protection, and in-ear monitors. It's an exciting and challenging career and UB played an important part in preparing me for this work.