For those involved in health care, or pursuing a career in medicine, there has never been a more important time to learn Spanish than right now. Current estimates put the number of Spanish-speakers currently working, living, and accessing health care in the United States at 30-40 million, and in many places in the United States, Spanish is the unofficial first language. The Medical Spanish program gives those with the need to use Spanish in a medical setting the opportunity to focus their language learning, all while immersed in the Ecuadorian culture.
The Medical Spanish program aims to promote language and cultural competence*, and to enhance the skills of health service professionals and consequently improve overall healthcare. It is designed for medical students, nurses, physicians and assistants, and health workers who need to communicate effectively with Spanish-speaking patients. The program includes formal classroom study, as well as visits to local hospitals, medical schools, rural health programs, and traditional healers.
To participate in this program you must have at least an intermediate level of Spanish. If you feel that you are not quite at this level you are welcome to join our FISP (Full Immersion Spanish Program) for a few weeks to improve your Spanish before participating in our Medical Spanish Program.
For those who are interested in extending the program, there are two options. You can have an additional week of the program, which would follow the general schedule of the first two weeks, continuing with Spanish classes and visiting new healthcare sites. The second option would be to spend at least two more weeks volunteering in a local clinic or shadowing a healthcare professional.
*"Cultural Competency is the ability of individuals and systems to respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds and religions in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values the cultural differences and similarities and the worth of individuals, families, and communities and protects and preserves the dignity of each. Improvements in communication and cultural understanding as outcomes of enhanced cultural competency in a health care setting is demonstrated by improved diagnoses, treatment plans and patient satisfaction (Seattle King County Dept of Public Health).”
-40 hours of instruction over two weeks
-Housing for entire program
-Visits to local hospitals, medical and nursing schools, and other health providers
-One weekend day trip for each week
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