Working life (AVM)

This page provides useful information on the working week as well as any on-call and other commitments, along with information about who you will work with. The attractions and challenges of the job are also in this section.

"I wanted to work in a small specialty with very specialist expertise, and enjoyed the excellent training and knowledge base offered by the diploma in Audiovestibular Medicine. Being a member of a scientific discipline and multidisciplinary team is very stimulating, as is making a difference for our patients and improving their quality of life. Detective work and unravelling the origins of disease are very rewarding and it’s great finding a way through a challenging problem. Because we’re a small group, everyone can get involved and I can really make a difference to our specialty." - Audiovestibularl physician

How your time is spent

Consultant audiovestibular physicians work in a variety of settings, from community based clinics through secondary care and highly specialist academic centres. Adults and children are seen in separate clinics in all practices.

Adults and children are seen in separate clinics in all practices. A typical day in a paediatric clinic might begin at 9am with a multidisciplinary team meeting followed by outpatient clinic at 9.30am.

After seeing perhaps five paediatric patients, cases might be discussed with the multidisciplinary team and/or the supervising consultant. Paediatric clinics could present a range of difficulties from a young person coping with progressive hearing loss to a deaf newborn baby.

An adult clinic may involve seeing a mixture of new and follow-up patients with dizziness, vertigo, balance problems, hearing loss and tinnitus. At the end of a typical morning there is is usually paperwork to complete, or perhaps a meeting with radiology colleagues.

The afternoon might involve practical hands-on diagnostic audiovestibular testing in the outpatients clinic.

The work also includes academic meetings, case discussions, and teaching or training, all of which has to be fitted into the working day.

On-call and working hours

At present, there is no out-of-hours commitment and work tends to be outpatient based, either in hospital or community settings. At the end of clinic at around 5 pm there may be paperwork to finish or other meetings to attend.

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