"We're going to start in your right ear,” explains Dr. Richie Panelli to his patient at Nevada ENT & Hearing Associates. “The hearing test helps us find out why you're dizzy; why you're having the ringing." Dr. Panelli is in tune with patients dealing with auditory disorders and he ultimately wants to help people hear better. "Hearing's a window into so many other areas." The audiologist conducts a myriad of tests to help people solve a host of issues that can stem from the ear. "When you hear the beeps, just say yes,” he instructs during a test in a sound-proof room.

Hearing issues can be traced back to a variety of things like age, genetics and even exposure to noise. "Every time you leave a music venue or a club and your ears are ringing really badly - you've done permanent damage." As you can imagine, he spends a good amount of time in the audio booth… but not just during his work day!

"We’re just doing the second verse?” he asks in the studio. When he is off the clock, Dr. Panelli is better known as Apprentice. "Gotta be champion,” he raps. “Baby, that's been lifelong. Baby, no I can't run, gotta write my fight song." The third generation Nevadan has been an active part of the local music scene for the last decade! What started in his college dorm room as a passion for producing morphed into writing "A writer and a vocalist," he says. “You rap, too?” I ask. "Yeah, I know I look it,” laughs the doctor dressed out in a suit and tie. Apprentice has performed in front of sold out audiences, collaborated with a wide range of artists, and the father of two's work even garnered a best "Solo Hip Hop Album" award. Plus, one song, in particular, resonated around the country about America. "It shows her from a little girl up until now and as an older woman." It's that story-telling he loves most. "It's a puzzle to me. It's just fun to put it together and see if you can create something that's your own." But more importantly for this ear doc is that his music is for others to hear.

You can check out Apprentice when he performs with Bluff Caller and Tyler Stafford at the Nugget’s Celebrity Showroom in Sparks on Sunday, October 22 at 7 p.m. For tickets, call (775) 356-3300 or email NuggetReservations@marnellgaming.com. You can also log on to: https://nuggetcasinoresort.tix.com/Event.aspx?EventCode=994823