First Advisor

Deanna K. Meinke

First Committee Member

Diane Erdbruegger

Second Committee Member

Erinn Jimmerson

Degree Name

Doctor of Audiology

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Date Created



The demand for medical professionals rises in conjunction with the rise of prescriptions written annually in the United States, but there are not enough physicians to meet the demand for patient prescriptions (Mohamadloo et al., 2019). In the United States, 2.4 million healthcare visits for acute otitis externa were recorded in 2007; approximately half were between the ages of 5-14 years old. Healthcare providers were estimated to have spent about 600,000 hours treating acute otitis externa.

Prescriptive authority is the ability of healthcare providers to prescribe specific medications, including controlled substances. Prescriptive authority is legally allocated by federal and state governments. Many other healthcare professionals have some degree of involvement in the prescribing and administering drugs and vaccines in the U.S. These include naturopathic doctors, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, optometrists, and physical therapists. Audiologists are not authorized to practice medicine or prescribe medications, but there may be a need to do so in the future, especially in the context of non-systemic drugs. Topical otic drugs are reviewed in this manuscript as this would be the most likely drug class to be relevant to an audiologist gaining prescriptive authority. There is a lack of research regarding the need for audiologists to have prescriptive authority, the status of Au.D. educational preparation in the area of otologic pharmacology and the professional perspectives, attitudes, and initiatives that would need to be undertaken should audiologists prescribe topical otic medications. If the future of audiology is to consider this role in the future scope of practice, there is much information to be obtained, long-term initiatives to be undertaken and financial resources to be accrued.

Abstract Format



68 pages

Rights Statement

Copyright is held by the author.