December 27, 2018

Faculty Profile – Samuel Atcherson, Ph.D.

Samuel R. Atcherson, Ph.D., professor and program director for the Doctor of Audiology program is a nationally-recognized leader, scholar, mentor, and educator in the field of audiology. As a person with lifelong hearing loss from childhood, Dr. Atcherson’s areas of interest and expertise include broad strokes across 1) auditory electrophysiology, 2) audiologic rehabilitation, and 3) health literacy.

In the area of auditory electrophysiology, Dr. Atcherson focuses mostly on clinically-available evoked potentials systems and their use in individuals with and without hearing, auditory processing, and balance disorders. Recent research conducted by Dr. Atcherson and colleagues has demonstrated the clinical feasibility of the HEARLab™ Cortical Potential System as a complement to behavioral pure tone audiometry and to demonstrate efficacy of bone-anchored implant fitting by audiologists to determine adequate audibility to soft, moderate, and loud speech sounds.

In the area of audiologic rehabilitation, Dr. Atcherson uses a combination of approaches to mitigate the negative effects of hearing loss or auditory processing disorders. When health professionals use hearing aids or other implantable auditory devices, using either a conventional acoustic stethoscope or an electronic stethoscope can present unexpected coupling and filtering challenges. Dr. Atcherson continues to work with colleagues to develop a viable sound analysis system to study the various permutations related to different hearing aid, implant, and stethoscopes brands and their intensity and frequency outputs. Facemasks pose a visual barrier to people with hearing loss, and Dr. Atcherson is sub-PI of an NIH STTR grant to compare the conventional facemask with a newly developed transparent facemask that meets safety standards to improve communication access.

In the area of health literacy, Dr. Atcherson and his colleagues (many of whom are current and former students) have evaluated the readability and accessibility of numerous questionnaires, surveys, and consumer materials used by audiologists and speech-language pathologists when working with patients who have communication-related disorders. Overwhelmingly, most materials are written at a reading grade level far higher than the average 8th grade reading level of adults in the U.S. This has implications for patients and for the healthcare system in terms of accuracy of diagnosis and health outcomes.

To date, Dr. Atcherson has published 50 peer­reviewed articles, 42 non-refereed articles, 3 textbooks, 11 invited book chapters, 2 book reviews, and a Letter to the Editor published in the coveted Science journal. Currently, he has 2 textbook contracts with Thieme Medical Publishers (2nd ed. of Auditory Electrophysiology: A Clinical Guide and 3rd ed. of Audiology: Diagnosis). He has given or contributed to over 200 presentations/posters/panels (including 5 keynote presentations and has been awarded nearly $200,000 in grant funding for both intramural and NIH projects.

Download Dr. Atcherson's CV