George S. Osborne College of Audiology
Doctor of Audiology

Residential Program

The eXtern Files

Name: Ashley Bonanno  

Program/Class: Au.D. 2014
Dates of externship: June 2013 – May 2014
Externship Site: REM Audiology, locations in Philadelphia, Voorhees and Medford, NJ.
Type of practice: Private Practice


  • Liz Patterson, Au.D.
  • Maegan Mapes, Au.D.
  • Jorge Zavala, Au.D.

I chose this externship because: REM serves a wide variety of patients.  I see a good mix of pediatrics and adults.  In addition to diagnostics and hearing aids, REM provides tinnitus therapies, educational audiology services, and auditory processing testing.

What I do/what I am learning here: Diagnostics, hearing aid evaluations, real-ear measurements, central auditory processing evaluations.  I am also getting more exposure to FM systems and alternative listening devices.

Transportation: I travel to all 3 office locations, so a car is necessary.

Name: Kristen Conley

Program/Class: Audiology/2014  
Dates of externship: May 2013-May 2014
Externship Site: Family Hearing Center of Marlton
Type of practice: Private practice

Preceptor: Dr. Tiffany Berth

I chose this externship because: I wanted to be in a private practice setting. I had done a previous rotation here and knew it was a great learning environment. Dr. Berth is a phenomenal teacher and will always take extra time to answer questions. She encourages questions and is very open with all aspects of a private practice, including patient care, marketing and the books.  

What I do/what I am learning here: we see patients from ages six months to adults and perform hearing tests and hearing aid evals as well as APD testing. Our focus is on diagnosing and treating hearing loss but does not include any vestibular or electrodiagnostic testing.

Name: Peter Kleckner

Program/Class: Audiology 2014
Dates of externship: 6/10/2013 – 5/9/2014
Externship Site:  Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Type of practice: Hospital

Preceptor(s): Jennifer Poston Ph.D

I chose this externship because:  Diverse diagnostic and hearing aid setting

What I do/what I am learning here:  EVERYTHING

What has surprised me about this externship: Never gets boring

Comments to other externs about this specialty/area/practice: I would recommend.

Transportation:  I take the regional rail into center city every day. Tons of public transportation options

Housing information: N/A

Cost of living: N/A

What the area is like?: It is in Center City Philadelphia, the activities are limitless

Name: Dana McAdams

Program/Class: Audiology/2014
Dates of externship: 5/28/13 to 5/9/14
Externship Site:  Princeton Eye and Ear
Type of practice: ENT / Hospital

Preceptor: Angelica O’Boyle, AuD

I chose this externship because: 

  1. within an hour commute
  2. ENT offices give a lot of opportunity to see middle ear hearing losses, unusual diagnoses, etc.
  3. loads of practice picking up speed for hearing evals
  4. VNGs on a weekly basis (office schedules on average 6 VNGs per week.)
  5. Setting would be described as an independent audiology dept working inside of an ENT office.

What I do/what I am learning here*:

  1. Hearing evals
  2. VNGs
  3. Hearing aid evals
  4. Hearing aid dispensing
  5. Hearing aid follow up / clean and checks / repairs

What has surprised me about this externship:

  1. How useful Module 1 and 2 knowledge can be in a setting like this!!

Comments to other externs about this specialty/area/practice: This is a very busy, multi-physician practice where time and accuracy are of the essence.  This practice will definitely give you the opportunity to practice speed for hearing evals.  Although the residential area is upper middle class, the office sees a large variety of race, gender, and social status.  If you know a second language, especially Spanish, this office will love you!

Transportation: My commute is 35-40 minutes without traffic from Northeast Philly;  roughly 30 miles one way.  Can either take I-95 or Route 1/Roosevelt Blvd to get to this placement.

Housing information: I live with my parents, so I’m not helpful here :P  But there are a lot of apartment complexes in Bucks County PA and in NJ.

Cost of living: Bucks County rent ranges from $700-1200 per month, depending on the specific area and amenities.  Personally, I would suggest living in PA (specifically Lower Bucks County) over NJ. 

What the area is like?: The area is easily accessible to both New York and Philadelphia by both car and train.  Lots of shopping and restaurants in the area.

Name: Ashleigh Mohney

Dates of externship: June 2013- May 2014
Type of practice: Private Practice

Preceptor(s): Elise N. Uhring, AuD and Angie G. Boonie, AuD

I chose this externship because: It was within an hour commute of my hometown, and it offered a wide variety of services.

What I do/what I am learning here:  This practice offers a variety of services including audio evaluations, hearing aid services, VNGs, and auditory processing evaluations.  They also see people of all ages here, from pediatrics to geriatrics

Transportation: Because I live an hour away, I do have to have a car to travel here, but the town that the practice is located in is a college town (Penn State) so there are different ways of transportation in the area.

Housing information: State College offers many different options for housing that are similar to other large university towns.

Cost of living: The cost of living is not as expensive as a bigger city, but it depends on how much your budget is and what you are willing to spend.  There are several dining options around here that are low cost and many different options for groceries and other necessities. 

What the area is like:  The area is a beautiful area in central PA and is growing fast. It offers a wide variety of activities. With Penn State here, there are many sporting events to attend. Downtown offers several shops, restaurants, and bars for a great nightlife.  The area also offers many outdoor activities like hiking and skiing.

Name: Namrata Desai  

Program/Class: AuD Class of 2014
Dates of externship: June 2013 – May 2014
Externship Site: Audio Help Associates/ Audio Help Hearing Centers
Type of practice: Private practice (two offices in Manhattan; one in Scarsdale)

Preceptor: Kit Frank, AuD, CCC-A

I chose this externship because: It’s a very, very busy private practice---in all locations!

What I do/what I am learning here: A little bit of everything (especially diagnostics) but a LOT of hearing aid evaluations, fittings, musician earplugs, ALDs, tinnitus matching evaluations, and aural rehab!

What has surprised me about this externship: how busy yet organized this practice is; we have weekly meetings every week to go over different ideas/areas of improvements and are constantly having training sessions with manufacturer reps to educate us on what’s new.

Comments to other externs about this specialty/area/practice: This might be the place for you if you ever want to open up a multi-office successful private practice.

Transportation: I live in North Jersey, so I take the NJ transit bus in and then the subway to the offices once I get to Port Authority in NYC.

Housing information: I live at home with my parents, but I do know that the rents for one bedrooms in Manhattan are pretty pricey.  It makes the most sense to get some roommates and get a three bedroom apartment if you do want to live in the city and are on a tight budget. That, or consider possibly living in Astoria/Long Island’s more reasonable and the commute isn’t bad at all into the city.

Cost of living: You’re in NYC,so it’s pretty pricey. It’s how much you want to spend/balance out.

What the area is like?: NYC—that’s a lot of great nightlife and fun events going on so you will never be bored!

Name:  Laura DiTusa

Program/Class: AuD Class of 2014
Dates of externship: 07/01/2013
Externship Site: Long Island Jewish Medical Center/Hearing and Speech Department
Type of practice: Hospital/ Medical Center

Preceptor: Dr. Leslie Wexler, AuD

I chose this externship because: LIJ is one of the largest providers in the NY metropolitan area.  The site has many specialties that I am interested in, including hearing aids, pediatrics, cochlear implants, vestibular, and adult testing.  I felt that LIJ could give me an amazing overall learning experience.  On a personal note, I was born in this hospital; therefore, it means a lot to me to give back to this place specifically.

What I do/what I am learning here: At LIJ I work with anywhere from 7-10 audiologists a day.   I perform pediatric and adult hearing evaluations, threshold ABR’s on babies six months or younger, electronystagmography on ENT patients, cochlear implant evaluations, and mappings on the pediatric and adult populations. I dispense/troubleshoot hearing aids and FM systems.  I perform hearing aid walk-in hours during which any of our patients can come with a problem and I decide the course of action to take.  At LIJ I have learned the overall patient experience.  I have learned how to take what I have learned in three years of school and apply it to patient care.

What has surprised me about this externship: At LIJ we work with the New York State Early Intervention program.  The complexity of working with parents can sometimes be surprising. I love working with children, so they (the parents) won’t stop me but it sometimes can be difficult. 

Comments to other externs about this specialty/area/practice: I love it here. I work personally with ENT’s and audiologists.  The people here are always asking me questions and are open to answering my questions as well.  They have hired their last three externs so they are always open to hiring their own.

Transportation: There are plenty of buses that come to this area. The hearing and speech center has its own parking lot as well.

Housing information: I used to live with my parents, until they sold their house.  Now I live two minutes away in a very good area called Glen Oaks.  It’s close to my family and where I grew up.

Cost of living: NY cost of living depends on you.  I bring lunch everyday because I don’t always have time to get lunch.  About once a week the other extern and I try to get lunch together and chat about our week.

What the area is like?: The area is the borderline of NYC and its suburbs.  It is really easy to get around.  Lots of people take the bus or walk.  If I want to go into Manhattan, I can drive, take a bus, a train, or the subway.

Name: Mindy Westfried

Program/Class: AUD 2014
Dates of externship: June 2013- May 2014
Externship Site: ENT Associates of NY/ Total Hearing Care 
Type of practice: ENT and private practice

Preceptor: Dr. Marie Ann Zumpone-Weibley

I chose this externship because: I chose this externship for a number of reasons. The first reason was that they offer a variety of tests. This practice does every test that is in the audiology scope of practice. I also liked that this is a 22 office practice which means that I would be offered a job after my externship.

What I do/what I am learning here: I am learning many things here. I am learning how to work with other health care professionals. I am also learning how to be more time efficient and amazing patient skills.

What has surprised me about this externship: Nothing. It is pretty much what you expect from an ENT practice.

Comments to other externs about this specialty/area/practice: Great practice! The only issue is that parking can sometimes be an issue.

Transportation:  I drive and parking can be an issue. The bus is also very convenient.

Housing information: I live at home with my parents so I don’t know about rent in the area.

Cost of living:  It’s New York so it depends on you. I pack lunch but if you order in for lunch it should cost you about 10 dollars a day on food.

What is the area like? The area is easy to get around with public transportation. The area is mostly doctor’s offices and a hospital.

Name: Rebecca Bacon

Program/Class: Audiology 2014
Dates of externship: June 2013- May 2014
Externship Site:  Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children’s Hospital
Type of practice: Hospital setting both pediatric and adult.

Preceptor: Dr. Deborah Lyon.

I chose this externship because: of the diverse experience it offers. I am able to see both pediatric and adult patients in a variety of settings. The main office is run like a private practice, but I also work in an ENT environment some days, and then I even have time in the OR. The facility performs basically every type of diagnostic testing in our scope of practice.

What I do/what I am learning here: I am furthering my skills in comprehensive audiologic evaluations, both pediatric and adult. I perform sedated ABR’s on patients both in and out of the OR, as well as neurodiagnostic ABR’s on patients with asymmetrical hearing or Central Auditory Processing delays. Central auditory processing evaluations are also a common occurrence at this facility. I have the opportunity to perform diagnostic audiologic evaluations on patients in the hospitals ENT clinic twice a week, which is a fast paced and highly energized environment. It allows me to see otologic pathologies that I would not see otherwise. I am able to work with both cochlear implant patients and hearing aid patients daily, which includes fitting, programming, verifying, and troubleshooting these devices. I am also able to work with a diverse group of professionals from Otolaryngologists, to speech pathologists, to physician assistants. I also work with two other audiology externs, and it has been interesting to hear about their experiences up to this point.

What has surprised me about this externship: The amount of paperwork is something I never imagined.

Transportation: I drive to work every day and the office rarely closes due to weather. Ideally you should have a vehicle of your own that is dependable in rain, shine, or snow. (Though there is a free shuttle that takes us from the office to the main hospital when we need to go there).

Housing information: I recommend not living in Providence. The main office is about 10 minutes south of the hospital. Warwick and Cranston are good places to look.

Cost of living: There are many housing options in the area for all budgets. You can easily rent an apartment or even a house. There are a ton of colleges in the area, so affordable housing is usually easy to find.

What the area is like: Gorgeous beaches are everywhere. Newport is amazing! Thayer Street in Providence is buzzing while Brown University and RISD (Rhode Island School of Design; pronounced “Riz-dee”) are in session, and the Providence Place Mall is really nice. There are historic sites all around. Federal Hill is a great area for dining, and seasonally there is something called “Water Fires.”

Massachusetts is a short drive away and there is a commuter rail that takes you into Boston in just under an hour.  There are also great outlets in Wrentham, MA. There are a few great vineyards and breweries in the area for weekend adventures. Mohegan Sun Casino and Foxwoods Casino are also a short drive away. Everything is typically within a one hour drive - unless you want to go to New Hampshire or Vermont for a weekend trip, then just add on a couple of hours. There is a lot to do around here because the states are so small and close together. It is difficult to get bored with the area!

Name: Brittany Panetta

Program/Class: AuD 2014
Dates of externship: June 2, 2013 – May 2014
Externship Site: University of Virginia Medical Center 
Type of practice:  Hospital/Medical Center

Preceptor(s): Dr. Lori Grove.  May also get to observe Dr. Melissa McNichol, Dr. Donna Catalano, Liz Rabin, Janet Sturtevant, Debra Hildebrand, Dr. Gleason Tucker, Dr. Amber Kiser, Dr. Cynthia Clark, Dr. Sara Sohns, and Dr. Nicola Ratcliffe.  All of these preceptors have their CCC’s through ASHA.

I chose this externship because: Wide range of services offered

What I do/what I am learning here: Clinical audiology (adults and children), HAs (adults and children), cochlear implants (adults and children), APD, tinnitus evaluations, IOM (during CI and acoustic neuroma surgery, also atresia repair), NBHS, electrophysiology (ABR – sedated and natural sleep, OAE, ASSR), vestibular patients (rotary chair and VNG).  I am probably forgetting something, but basically this site offers pretty much any area of audiology that falls under our scope of practice. 

What has surprised me about this externship: How well-known this hospital is; people from PA knew where I was talking about when I said I was coming here.  Also, you really get to see all types of patients – children to adults, atresia, acoustic neuromas, etc.  Plus the ENT and Audiology department work together pretty well here.

Comments to other externs about this specialty/area/practice: This can be an expensive area to live in so plan wisely.  You will see basically everything that could be offered in Audiology at this one site.  There is a good relationship between the otolaryngologists and the audiologists.  During surgeries the otolaryngologists are willing to answer questions most of the time and love when both their externs and the audiology externs have questions and show initiative in wanting to know what is happening.

Transportation:  I have my own car, but there are bus routes and depending on your housing you may be close enough to walk.

Housing information: Apartment building.  The prices are a little high around here, but my apartment is much nicer than the one I lived in in Philadelphia.

Cost of living: More than I was paying in Philadelphia.  This is a more expensive city in VA.

What the area is like? There’s a lot of places to bike and hike – there are also a lot of wineries nearby.  The downtown area has Fridays at Five, where there’s music/bands and food vendors going on.