FINAL PROJECT: Abstract and Reader's Reponse > Medical Spanish

40 million people in the United States speak Spanish which makes up 13.3% of the US population according to the 2015 US Census Bureau survey. This language barrier directly affects the health care that Spanish speaking patients receive. Communication is essential to the medical field, especially doctor-patient communication. Compromised communication can affect patient satisfaction, accurate reporting of signs and symptoms, complete understanding of the physician’s orders, and overall efficiency of medical treatment. Therefore, in order improve the quality and efficiency of medical treatment, physicians should aim to learn medical Spanish. Medical Spanish is different that traditional Spanish. Classroom learning is not always the most effective way to learn a specific form of Spanish. Many medical schools already have programs designed to develop Spanish speaking skills in future physicians that focus on the specific speaking skills necessary in the medical field. Possibly more important than learning the language is the indirect understanding of the culture that develops through learning Spanish. Physicians must be careful with their words when communicating with a patient and culture plays a role in certain expressions. Overall, this paper will address the need for bilingual physicians and propose ways for physicians to more effectively communicate with Spanish speaking patients.

Reader Response:
I can imagine a difficult reader arguing that Spanish speaking individuals in the United States should learn English because they are in a country in which English is the official language. However, often times the Spanish speaking population has limited access to resources to learn a new language. A majority of physicians do have access to resources provided by the university of institution where they work. In addition, learning Spanish is more about learning just a language and literal translation of words. To effectively communication with a Spanish speaking patient, the physician must also understand the culture. Culture drives language and a lot can be learned about a person’s culture from studying the words and syntax of a language. Therefore, learning Spanish can improve medical treatment even beyond just getting rid of the language barrier.
May 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSR
Formal citation (author, date).
Third person

What web resources or apps or products can you recommend? Any web-based translate options for medical Spanish?
May 7, 2017 | Registered CommenterMarybeth Shea