DaviesThis issue of The Hearing Review is our "AAA" issue! We will be distributing copies at the 13th Annual convention of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) in San Diego, CA.

According to David Fabry, PhD, president of AAA, more than 8,000 people are expected to attend this year’s convention.

I remember the first AAA meeting I attended. It was held at Kiawah Island, near Charleston, SC. The organizers of the fledgling group were not prepared for the large number of exhibitors, nor the attendees that came to that meeting. I recall one manufacturer’s exhibit was in a broom closet. Attendees were housed all over, in the hotel and in condominiums. No one seemed to care, because there was a lot of energy among the group.

Look at what that energy has produced. Today, this convention is held in convention centers, and attracts attendees from all over the globe. With Tommy G. Thompson, secretary of Health & Human Services delivering the keynote address at the Opening General Assembly, this year’s convention will be a memorable one as well. Attendees will leave San Diego energized, with memories of the sessions we attended, the exhibit hall and its vast display of companies and their products. This will truly be proof of how far the hearing industry has come technologically. We will be inspired by the people we connect with, the fun we have and the whole gamut of why we attend conventions in general.

I had the opportunity recently to visit with the president of a well-known hearing instrument manufacturing company. In his opinion, success in hearing instrument

fitting is comprised of 50% psychological synergy between the professional and the client, 25% of the accuracy of the earmold, and 25% the technology of the hearing instrument. The statement reminded me of a similar comment made at the Technological Luncheon at the 1999 Intl. Hearing Society’s (IHS) convention. William Austin, CEO of Starkey Labs, said, “we can all talk about all the wonderful things our instruments can do, but when it comes right down to it…the difference is you! Your expertise, your empathy, and how you relate to the consumer.”

You are important. We need you. All those individuals who have difficulty hearing need you. In the words of Vinton Cerf, senior vice president for Internet Architecture and Technology at WorldCom, the world needs you to help people become “hearing repaired.”

We hope you enjoy this issue of The Hearing Review. If you are attending AAA this year, please stop by our booth (#1521).

Pauline M. Davies