The Missing Link for SLPs
A Day in the Life of a Medical SlP: Conversation with a Voice Specialist

Download the show notes or full transcript of the conversation.

Meet Lauren Fay, a voice specialist who works at Duke Voice Care Center, an outpatient facility within Duke University’s Healthy System. Lauren takes us through her typical day and caseload, covering the TEP and laryngectomy management she does in the process. She also offers advice for graduate students looking to pursue similar careers, offers insight into the challenges voice therapists face, and more.

Discussion & Reflection Questions

  1. Who are you and why did you decide to become a speech pathologist? 
  2. Tell us about the setting that you work in and what your typical  day looks like.
  3. How much of your caseload is managing TEPs and all the TEP patients?
  4. What other professionals are on your interdisciplinary team?
  5. What do you wish you had known starting your speech pathology career that you now know? What words of advice would you give to your younger self?
  6. What would you say to the speech pathologist who does not feel fulfilled after a workday?
  7. What words of advice would you give to somebody who’s starting off in the field or wanting to move into voice therapy that somebody else might not agree with?

Quote of the Conversation

“I’m not judging this young clinician. I’m not judging this student. I’m not judging this person who has been doing speech pathology for a while, but is now getting more into voice. I’m just excited to help them. So, that galvanizes me on the other end to go to my more experienced colleagues — or to even less experienced, but still incredibly smart and gifted colleagues — and say, ‘I have a hard time with this. What do you think?’  And I do think it fosters a sense of collaboration and growth.”

– Lauren Fay, MS, CCC-SLP

Lauren Fay, MS, CCC-SLP

Senior Clinical Speech-Language Pathologist at Duke Voice Care Center

Katie Decker received her BA in biology and Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology

Lauren Fay is a senior clinical speech-language pathologist. Lauren studied communication sciences and disorders and music at Baylor University, and earned her master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Vanderbilt University. She completed an externship at MD Anderson Cancer Center focusing on voice and swallowing disorders in patients with head-and-neck cancer. She expanded her knowledge of voice care while working with Dr. Robert Sataloff at Philadelphia ENT Associates. Lauren has been at Duke Voice Care Center since 2016, where her role includes patient care and programmatic development of student, clinician, and community education endeavors.

Clinical interests include tracheo-esophageal voice prosthesis management, chronic cough, and peri-operative voice rehabilitation. Lauren is a clinical instructor for the graduate-level Voice Disorders class at UNC-Chapel Hill and has been a featured speaker at the North Carolina Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention.

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Not a substitute for a formal SLP education or medical advice for patients/caregivers.

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