Leadership Spotlight – Doug Garrison, AuD, Interim Treasurer

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Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be in the great state of North Carolina?

I was born in Lexington, KY, and moved to the coast of NC before my first birthday. I moved to Chapel Hill after graduating high school and spent four years at UNC-CH. I spent a few years after school moving around and found my way to Nashville, TN, to study Audiology at Vanderbilt. After graduating, I was fortunate to find a job at Duke and have enjoyed living in Durham since then.

Where or in what type of setting do you currently work?

I work in an outpatient ENT clinic at Duke University Medical Center. I evaluate and treat patients with balance and dizziness problems in our vestibular clinic.

Why are you so excited about the new North Carolina Audiology Association, and what is your current role in the developing organization?

I am very excited to have an independent association representing audiology in NC. We had outgrown the structure of our previous association, and forming a new group was our best option to capitalize on the skills, motivation, and enthusiasm of our colleagues. As the healthcare landscape continues to change, we must find a way to make space for audiology. I’m confident this association will represent us well in that endeavor, and I’m encouraged when I see that same passion in the eyes of the other stakeholders. I’m serving as the interim Treasurer of the new association; making our first bank deposit two weeks ago was a big day!

What would one find you doing in your free time?

I enjoy listening to music at home and live, working in my shop, and working in my yard. I have lots of fun hanging out with my wife and son, riding bikes, sitting on the back porch at Sam’s Quik Shop, and hanging out with my neighbors.

What is your favorite part of the state to visit and why?

That is a really tough question because I really enjoy the western part of the state. If forced to choose it has to be the Outer Banks. I enjoy motoring over to Cape Lookout. With a light north wind, the south side of the hook of the cape has calm water and that makes for an amazing day at the beach. Beer in one hand, bocce ball in the other; that tops the list.

If you were not practicing in a career related to audiology, what would you be doing?

Who knows? Working with my hands in some way. I love my job and I get tremendous satisfaction applying my knowledge of audiology so my patients can enjoy greater quality of life. But if I weren’t doing this, perhaps I would be building furniture.

What do you see as one of the biggest challenges facing audiology today?

Lack of public awareness of our field.

What is one goal you hope the new North Carolina Audiology Association can strive to accomplish?

Audiologists have much to offer and we don’t need to keep that a secret. We need to improve upon the lack of awareness of our profession. The healthcare landscape is changing drastically. As those tectonic plates shift, I hope the North Carolina Audiology Association will strive to create space for our profession where it didn’t previously exist.