This post was most recently updated on May 29th, 2020
Learn quickly and thoroughly
For many healthcare professionals, the knowledge of medical Spanish is not just useful but essential. Each week we work with professionals whos patient list includes 60% or more Spanish speakers.
Since 2011, we have worked to develop the best possible medical Spanish immersion program. By best, we mean the program that will enable you to learn healthcare Spanish as quickly as possible, so that you can use it in a clinical setting. The practical use of the language is critical to note. Many videos, apps, and short courses provide you with medical vocabulary and phrases. This is not enough.
For us, the best medical Spanish program needs to include several elements:
- To be immersion, so that you live and breath Spanish.
- Include Spanish grammar and medical Spanish
- Be taught by both real physicians and qualified language teachers.
- You have to practice role plays before working with patients.
- You have to work and practice Spanish with real patients.
- A CME accredited program assuring quality.
A little later in this article, I will explain why we believe we offer the best medical Spanish program for physicians and healthcare professionals working with Spanish patients. Lets first look at the healthcare Spanish resources and courses out there.
Medical Spanish materials and courses
Not everyone has the time or can make the financial investment an immersion program abroad requires. The best medical Spanish course for you will depend on your circumstances. There are a few free youtube videos out there that will provide you with some vocabulary. There are also vocabulary lists to be found on websites such as medicalspanish.com
If you can spend money on a medical Spanish course, then consider language apps focussed on developing Spanish vocabulary for healthcare. These include Canopy and Rosetta Stone, who now offer a health care course. These apps are relatively expensive but are well established and, of course, convenient to use.
If you enjoy listening to podcasts, then the most comprehensive option is docmolly.com, which covers both healthcare terms and Spanish grammar at different levels. Following the physician-patient consultations is a great way to attune your ear.
It may seem old fashioned now, but books are inexpensive and can provide you with a structure you need to cover both medical Spanish and the grammar you need. We like McGraw-Hill: Complete Medical Spanish, which does a great job of covering both.
Medical Spanish immersion programs
There are several immersion programs located in different Latin American countries. When investigating the best options available to you, we recommend you consider the following questions:
- Does the organization specialize in medical Spanish, or is this one of many different types of Spanish taught?
- Is the teacher qualified to teach you medical Spanish and especially to practice real physician – patients interactions.
- If you are a professional, does the program offer you CME credits?
- Will you have comfortable homestay accommodation for full immersion?
- Are class sizes small enough to cater to your needs?
The best medical Spanish immersion programs will offer all of the above. Be aware that some providers are general language schools, and for them, healthcare Spanish is just another program and may be taught by a teacher with no specific knowledge of healthcare.
The Medical Elective Network
Since 2011, we have been teaching medical Spanish to healthcare students and professionals in the colonial city of Trujillo, on the northern coast of Peru. As we a medical Spanish, we offer hospital electives, weekly health fairs, surgical missions, and provide meals to the elderly in poverty.
The best medical Spanish course
We are serious about teaching medical Spanish. Here classes are over 4 or 7 hours per day. Our team of physicians and language teachers ensures you learn the ideal mix of medical and general Spanish so you can confidently communicate with your patients. Whether you are a beginner or have a degree in Spanish, we will ensure your rapid progression
You will work with different teachers during the day and use a variety of teaching methods. This will include lots of role-plays, giving you the practice you need for the real world.
Your learning does not begin and stop at the classroom door. You will participate in our weekly community health fairs, working with our team to provide free consultations and medicine to underserved patients in different areas of the city.