A medical, as opposed to a surgical, specialty which was to be entrusted with the investigation, care and management of patients with hearing and balance disorders was established in the UK in 1975. This medical specialty was termed ‘audiological medicine’ and its specialists, ‘audiological physicians’. The relationship of the audiological physician to the ear, nose and throat surgeon is analogous to that between the neurologist and the neurosurgeon, or to that between the cardiologist and the cardiac surgeon. The audiological physician’s role needs to be distinguished also from that of the audiologist. An audiologist is a scientist (or technician). (In the UK, science is firmly established as an integral and autonomous discipline within British health-care systems.) The role and scope of the audiological physician is clarified. Audiological physicians are concerned primarily with patients suffering from disorders of auditory communication, equilibrium and spatial disorientation, i.e. ‘deaf and dizzy’ patients.