New audiologists must earn a doctoral degree to enter the practice. The doctoral degree in audiology (Au.D.) is a graduate program typically lasting four years. A bachelor’s degree in any field is needed to enter one of these doctoral programs. Graduate coursework in audiology includes anatomy, physiology, physics, genetics, normal and abnormal communication development, diagnosis and treatment, pharmacology, and ethics. Audiologists must be licensed, and requirements vary by jurisdiction. Audiologists work with people who are having problems with hearing or balance. They must figure out the causes of problems and the appropriate treatment to address them. They must be supportive of patients and their families. They need to communicate test results, diagnoses, and proposed treatments so that patients clearly understand the situation and options. They also may need to work with other healthcare providers and education specialists regarding patient care. Audiologists must concentrate when testing a patient’s hearing and be able to analyze each patient's situation to offer the best treatment. They must also be open to providing alternatives plans when patients do not respond to initial treatment. They must work with patients who may need a lot of time and special attention.