Contributed by Debbie Clason, staff writer, Healthy Hearing
What does an aspiring teacher with theater and voice experience do when she wants to use her communication skills with people of all ages? She switches her focus to hearing and speech sciences and becomes an audiologist. At least that’s what Corry Wilcox, owner of Audiology Associates of Lancaster, decided to do. Dr. Wilcox began working at Audiology Associates in 1997 and has owned the central Ohio practice since 1999.
“I have always found communication to be a very valuable thing,” she said. “I had started down the path to become a teacher and realized that I didn’t want to limit myself to one age population so I switched to hearing and speech sciences. The deeper I went, the more I realized audiology was a greater pull for me. It allowed me to work with people of all ages and still keep the focus on improved communication.”
Dr. Wilcox accepted a position with Audiology Associates after completing her clinical fellowship and worked there for two years before buying the practice. Back then, business education wasn’t part of the audiology curriculum. “I had to learn on the fly and by the seat of my pants,” she said about learning to run a business, “but I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s been a great way to put down roots and forge a career.”
Getting proven results
Dr. Wilcox’s strict adherence to best practices — such as taking real-ear measurements to insure the hearing aids are working correctly — as well as counseling and humor are reasons why her patients choose Audiology Associates. Their services include diagnostic hearing evaluations, hearing aid selection and fitting, counseling on hearing loss and the benefits of wearing hearing aids, a 30-day trial privilege, and hearing aid service for devices purchased from the practice. Anna Daggett, AuD. is the other audiologist on staff.
“We strongly believe in verification and I think that’s what sets us apart from our competitors,” she said. “Because I’ve immersed myself in managing hearing loss through amplification, I consider myself an expert when it comes to choosing products. I don’t work with just one manufacturer. We keep our eyes on what’s out there. We try to keep things extraordinarily personalized to each patient and tailor to their needs. We provide as much follow up care as they need. It really comes down to whatever is best for each individual patient.”
Laughter is the best medicine
Dr. Wilcox says the best part of her job is being able to form deep, lasting relationships with her patients and admits to “taking it right to the line” when joking around. “I love humor and finding opportunities in life to laugh. Most patients respond very favorably to humor, it gets beyond the fact we’re talking about medical devices in their ears. It’s great when I have my 90-year old patients laugh at one of my jokes — even funnier when they come back with something.”
Because the changing healthcare marketplace creates such confusion for her patients, Dr. Wilcox said she finds herself doing a lot more counseling about the nuances of insurance and the ways in which services are rendered. “There are things that used to be given that now must be paid for,” she explained. “I’m teaching them (patients) to make a good decision. Value doesn’t always come down to cost. The changes are tough on both the patients and the practice.”
In spite of those challenges, the advent of digital technology and wireless connectivity are providing her patients with more control over their listening environments, something that gives her great joy.
“I have a patient who came in and desired to hear and communicate better. He didn’t realize they make hearing aids that were compatible with his iPhone,” she said. “We were able to improve his hearing, reduce tinnitus and use his phone as remote control. His excitement and enthusiasm was infectious and contagious. He was so delighted, it was like a kid at Christmas who got exactly what he wanted when he didn’t even know he wanted it. It reignited my excitement for what we do and how we do it.”
In addition to her standard of care and sense of humor, Dr. Wilcox expresses her love for the job by sending handmade cards to her patients on their special occasions.
“They feel like I’m family, and I feel like they’re family,” – Dr. Wilcox
“I think we live in a great community, have wonderful people we work with and I hope we can continue to serve the needs of people in our community for a long, long time.”
We agree with Dr. Wilcox that communication is so valuable to everyday living. A hearing evaluation can be your first step to better hearing and improved communication with your family, friends and coworkers. Don’t live close enough to visit Dr. Wilcox or Dr. Daggett in Lancaster, Ohio? Search our directory to find a qualified hearing healthcare professional in your community.