Boston Medical Spanish Center
an initiative of the AES World Languages and Cultures Institute 501(c)3
Medical Spanish classes and programming for all of Boston's healthcare professionals
To bring effective medical Spanish classes and programs to all of Boston's healthcare providers.
Empowering clinicians and healthcare administrators to better communicate in the second most widely spoken language in the United States develops stronger relationships with patients, reduces miscommunication, and improves cultural understanding.
In an effort to have the most significant impact among the Spanish-speaking communities in and outside of Boston, we partner with medical schools and health centers such as the MGH Institute of Health Professions to train their students and staff. We also offer medical Spanish courses for the general Boston community.
Why it Matters
We feel passionately that all patients should have equitable access to healthcare.
The following findings provide a compelling argument for improving health literacy and increasing access to resources that address cultural and linguistic gaps in the system:
Persons with LEP (Limited English Proficiency) have experience with disproportionately high rates of infectious disease and infant mortality
Language barriers are associated with less health education, worse interpersonal care, and lower patient satisfaction
LEP patients who are hospitalized are less likely to have documentation of informed consent before undergoing invasive procedures
LEP populations are less likely to receive preventative health services such as mammograms
For LEP populations, follow-up compliance and adherence to medications are significantly lower than they are for English speaking patients
M.D.s who are unable to communicate effectively with their patients often compensate by engaging in costly practices such as more diagnostic procedures, more invasive procedures, and over-prescribing medication
We bring our unique skills and passion for sharing cultural and linguistic awareness to approach this problem in a new way with our Medical Spanish classes.