This post was most recently updated on April 20th, 2019
The benefits of Learning medical Spanish
For healthcare professionals, medical Spanish is a skill that adds to the quality of their professional and personal life. Whether you are a physician, nurse, physician assistant, nutritionist, or a healthcare manager an understanding of medical Spanish can enhance your career opportunities. This is particularly the case if you live and work in the United States. For professionals across the world Spanish and medical Spanish opens up a world of cultural and travel opportunities.
Spanish speakers in the US and around the world
In the US, the Hispanic community is the fastest growing population group. The US Census Bureau noted that in 2012 over 38 million people speak Spanish as their primary language at home. This is twice the 1990 figure.
The Instituto Cervantes claims there are 470 million Spanish speakers around the world and 21 million more learning the language.
Using medical Spanish at work
Many hospitals and clinics in cities and rural parts of the US now deal with Spanish majority patients. Even where this is not the case, most health care professionals will regularly be treating Spanish speaking patients. Professional interpreters are not always available, and telephone-based services can be prohibitively expensive.
With a reluctance to use preventative services, Spanish speaking patients are less likely to use primary care and more likely to use the Emergency Room.
While it may not be realistic for you to become a fluent Spanish speaker, providing comprehensive care in Spanish, having enough of the language to create a connection means a lot to an anxious patient.
As a health care professional with Medical Spanish skills, you become a greater asset to your employer. As well as being able to treat more patients you are also in a position to assist colleagues unable to communicate with Spanish speaking patients. Some hospitals offer financial incentives to professionals with language skills.
More importantly, foreign language skills make you more marketable. In all fields of healthcare in the US, prospective employers consider a candidate with Spanish language skills as an asset to their organization.
Traveling abroad is different when you speak the language
For 21 countries around the world Spanish is the national language. They have a combined population of over 44o million. Countries include amazing places like Spain, Argentina, and Peru, where The Medical Elective Network is based.
Visiting one of these countries as a Spanish speaker is a very different and far richer experience than for non-speakers. Getting a taxi or reading a menu can be fun and not a chore. What’s more, communicating in Spanish means being able to make new friends and see the real country, not only the tourist hot spots
International work overseas
Increasingly healthcare professionals are interested in working abroad. This may be to enjoy a different lifestyle or to participate in medical missions abroad helping those in real need. Organizations such as Medicins Sans Frontieres and International surgical Health Initiative actively encourage the participation of Spanish speaker for projects in Central and South America. Working abroad, for even a short time, is a wonderful, memorable life experience for many healthcare professionals. Each year we partner with visiting surgical teams providing free surgeries for those in need.
Learning medical Spanish is fun
Learning medical Spanish properly means also learning general Spanish and being able to communicate in any environment, not just in the clinic or hospital.
Our medical Spanish program is a lot of fun. The team of language teachers keeps classes lively and interesting, rotating classes each hour. With lots of focus on patient role plays and games, your time in the classroom will be fun as well as rewarding.
You will not be alone learning medical Spanish. The Spanish language is the most popular language taught in US colleges. It is more popular than learning all other taught languages combined.