Rachel Fryatt is a fourth-year audiology student at the University of Pittsburgh and a recipient of the 2018 SAA Student Leader Scholarship. We asked Rachel a few questions to get to know her and her thoughts about the profession.
What inspired you to go into Audiology?
I was inspired to go into the field when I learned American Sign Language in middle school. I knew since then that I wanted to work with kids and adults with hearing loss. I wanted to be an audiologist after observing professionals in the field and learning the kind of impact audiologists can have on a patient’s quality of life.
If you could go back to your first day of grad school, what would you tell yourself?
I’d probably tell myself to not sell my textbooks. I thought some of them I would not need again so I sold them, but now that I’m in externship year I wish I had them all with me for reference.
What has been your favorite audiology-related memory so far?
I don’t think there’s one specific memory that I can say is my favorite. I have had so many great experiences during my time in graduate school and I loved every part of it. I enjoyed going to conferences, learning about different topics in class, seeing patients’ reactions when they hear for the first time, and making memories with my classmates. Every aspect of grad school has been incredibly rewarding.
What does patient-centered care mean to you?
To me, patient-centered care means valuing the patient’s needs and goals foremost. Audiology is a field where patient-centered care is an integral part of the management decisions and considerations. My favorite part of audiology is the ability to collaborate with other healthcare providers to provide the best service to the patient.
What advice do you have for undergrads interested in audiology?
My advice to undergrads is to take advantage of every experience. Say yes to everything because you never know where you’ll find inspiration. Also, there are so many people, both professionals and students, who are willing to help you- all you have to do is ask.
If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be?
What is your favorite Emoji?
The ghost sticking its tongue out, lol.
You have to sing karaoke, what song would you choose?
“Mr. Brightside” by The Killers, obviously.
The SAA Student Leader scholarship is awarded to one (1) student who shows exceptional leadership in service to the profession of audiology . The application for the 2019 scholarship will be made available on the SAA website in late Summer.