Speech Pathologist

Like other hospital staff (for ex. nurses, doctors, dietitians, and social workers) speech pathologists go to team rounds in the morning. Originally I thought that speech pathologists just teach patients how to make sounds and improve their voices. However, a major role for Yumi, a speech pathologist at a major hospital in downtown Toronto is to tell the doctor and dietitian if the patient is having trouble swallowing. It is her job to check for oropharyngeal dysphagia which is a swallowing problem common with the elderly, patients who had strokes, and many patients in hospitals. During my visit there were a few cases where Yumi had to tell the dietitian to change a diet because the patient was having swallowing issues.

To be honest if I became a speech pathologist I would not want to work in a hospital setting. I think I would prefer helping kids with language and speech disorders. It could be more rewarding since you could hear your work paying off and children would be more fun to be around than a hospital.

A Typical Day

Speech pathologist diagnose problems and then teach or help patients hopefully solving their problem all in a days work.

Top 3 Perks

1) Great mix of science, language, and art 

2) Making a difference in people’s lives 

3) Meet people with varying backgrounds


Job Culture

Indoors, one on one work, using computer programs, diagnosing problems, working with doctors and dietitians, developing treatment plans


1) Complete an undergraduate degree 

2) Complete a 2-3 year master’s degree

Skills Needed

Patience, communication, problem solving, organizational, strategic

The Field

- High demand for speech pathologists in a variety of settings (hospitals, schools, or private clinics)