John Weigand Audiology PC | Hearing Center Interview
John Weigand, Au.D., was a speech pathology major until an audiology professor in one of his hearing science classes changed his direction. Today, Dr. Weigand not only owns his own practice, he’s also director and senior audiologist at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center where he enjoys combining the technical aspects of hearing healthcare along with the ability to improve the quality of people’s lives.
“The combination gives me a great opportunity to have a teaching role, clinical role and run a business,” he said. “We have a lot of people coming in because they recognize we’re the best place in the community for them to get help.”
Dr. Weigand said his staff is his best asset and believes training and education contributes to high morale and motivation. “Providing hearing care is really about the relationship a patient has with their doctor,” he said. “The starting point of that relationship is when we fit you with a hearing aid. Then it’s up to us to make sure you succeed.”
One of Dr. Weigand’s favorite hearing device success stories involves a woman who was enjoying a family evening in her backyard not long after she had been fit with hearing aids. “What’s that sound?” she asked her husband. “It’s the neighbor’s dog barking,” he replied. “She was amazed at how much her brain had forgotten and how we had helped her regain the automatic aspect of hearing,” Dr. Weigand said.
The Brooklyn-based hearing center staff conducts healthy hearing seminars in the community and promotes free hearing screenings for adults, often by personally distributing flyers in the hospital waiting rooms. “One of our primary roles as audiologists is to educate the public on the importance of getting a baseline check up and that hearing care is healthcare,” he said. “Most people are very appreciative. They don’t know where to start.”
Dr. Weigand said digital technology is the most significant change in hearing technology since he was certified in 1998. “I tell my staff how spoiled they are,” he said with a laugh. “When I started in the profession, the big joke was we all walked around with screwdrivers to adjust the hearing aids. Now devices connect wirelessly as soon as we load the software.”
Although his clinical and private practice schedule can make things challenging, Dr. Weigand said the ability to provide quality of life improvements to his patients is what he loves most about being a hearing healthcare professional. “When you hear your best, you can be your best,” he said. “I feel we’ve done a good job of making patients feel like family. I like helping them feel like themselves again.”
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