Meet Dr. Jodi Wilske, audiologist
Fri, Sep 17, 2021
Dr. Jodi Y. Wilske never gave much thought to pursuing a career in medicine, much less a career in audiology.
But it happened and that’s a great thing, she says.
“If you asked me what I wanted to be the day I entered college I would’ve told you, ‘I don’t know’ and I never would’ve thought anything in health care,” Wilske says.
Wilske, an audiologist with Hearing Center BayCare Clinic, earned her undergraduate degree in speech and hearing science from the University of Iowa.
Advice from a family friend helped put Wilske on the path toward becoming an audiologist.
“I happened to meet a friend of my sister-in-law’s who had gotten her master’s degree in audiology and she had said to me, ‘The University of Iowa has some of the best programs in the country for speech pathology and audiology. Have you considered those? And my answer was, ‘No, I’ve never heard of those things.’”
Wilske was curious, so she researched speech pathology and audiology. She was motivated to sign up for the introductory course.
“After that I was hooked,” she says. “I was very interested in the body and learning how we speak and how we hear and how we communicate. I never would’ve thought science or medicine is where I would’ve landed but when I got in those classes and started learning about the basics about how we hear, I found it fascinating.”
Wilske then earned her master’s degree in audiology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
She started her career as an audiologist at her alma mater, the University of Iowa. Then Wilske and her husband moved to southern California, where she worked for a non-profit speech and hearing center in Orange County.
“It was called Providence Speech and Hearing Center,” Wilske says. “We were affiliated with Children’s Hospital of Orange County. There, I did a ton of pediatrics.”
Although Wilske already was an audiology professional, she again became a student.
“The profession decided that now everyone needed a doctorate,” Wilske says. “I didn’t have to go back to school. I could still keep practicing with a master’s degree but I chose to go back through the University of Florida while I was still working full-time.
“They basically had programs for people like myself, you know, who are already licensed and practicing to go back and earn the doctorate equivalent.”
Wilske, who earned her Doctor of Audiology degree from the University of Florida, has practiced audiology for almost two decades. As her career blossomed, she and her husband decided to settle down and find a place to call home.
“My husband and I decided that we need to stop looking for the job and start looking for the place where we wanted to have a life,” Wilske says. “So, we picked Wisconsin.”
In 2020, Wilske joined Hearing Center BayCare Clinic. She practices in Marinette.
Her favorite part about being an audiologist is meeting and getting to know her patients, she says.
“I always say one of the things that I love about this job is that when I go out to the waiting room and call a name, I never know what I’m going to get,” Wilske says. “I like to get to know people.”
When seeing patients, Wilske strives to help her patients feel comfortable by helping them better understand their diagnosis and treatment and by having simple, yet, meaningful conversations with them.
“I like to try to ask patients about their grandkids or things that I know that they’ll really like to talk about,” she says. “In general, I feel that every patient deserves respect and every patient deserves time.”
Patient education and the advancement in technology is important to Wilske as well.
“I really strive to educate people about hearing loss and educate people about hearing aids and help guide them to make good choices with hearing aids,” she says.
When Wilske isn’t seeing patients, she’s usually relaxing at her lake house, traveling, backpacking or camping.
“Last summer, we did a two-week trip. For the first five days, we were backpacking on the Superior Hiking Trail, hiking 50 miles over four days. We then took one night to rest and then spent seven days canoe camping in Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada, which is a preserved wilderness,” she says.
“When we go camping, we don’t go places that are accessible via vehicle. We get there either by canoe or backpacking.”
Wilske also enjoys running. She’s completed one marathon and runs a couple of half-marathons each year.
Dr. Jodi Wilske is an audiologist with Hearing Center BayCare Clinic. She sees patients in Marinette.
About BayCare Clinic
BayCare Clinic, baycare.net, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.