UHS has taken a leadership role in the development a comprehensive Medical Spanish and Cultural Competency program in an attempt to strengthen these important areas of learning at the Geisel School of Medicine. The scholars were motivated to develop this program because of the potential impact that Medical Spanish training can have on the future reduction of health disparities in the urban areas in which we will practice.
The three major components of this initiative include:
- Medical Spanish Elective
- Service learning opportunities
- Additional enrichment activities
The goal is to develop a long-standing and primarily student-driven program that follows the central aim of developing increased cultural competency in the Geisel School of Medicine’s student body.
Medical Spanish Elective
As the principal component of the Medical Spanish program, the elective aims to provide students with a basic framework for communicating with Spanish-speaking patients in a medical setting. A major emphasis was placed on cultural differences and the importance of ensuring adequate communication between physician and patient.
In conjunction with the Migrant Health Interest Group at Geisel, we are designing clinical service opportunities for 1st and 2nd year students to participate in the delivery of health care to underserved migrant farm worker populations in the area and practice their Spanish language skills in the process.
Extracurricular Spanish Enrichment Activities
In order to provide students with some additional exposure to conversational Spanish, the following extracurricular enrichment programs were developed:
- In Collaboration with the Dartmouth College Spanish Department:
- Themed dinners with Spanish professors
- Educational and recreational Spanish movie nights
- In collaboration with community Spanish interest groups:
Spanish conversation tables