Language is the principal tool that clinicians use in providing healthcare. Research shows that patients without language-concordant healthcare providers are more likely to experience miscommunication and adverse events, are less likely to comply with medications and medical advice, and are less likely to go to follow-up appointments. Furthermore, patients with non-English language preferences are more likely to experience health inequities, worse clinical outcomes, and less care satisfaction than English-speaking patients.

According to the 2019 US Census Bureau, Hispanics comprise about 19% of the total US population, and nearly 70% of them- 42 million- speak Spanish at home. The agency projects that Hispanics will comprise about 25% of the US population by 2045. Likewise, the Cervantes Institute estimates that by 2060, 27.5% of the US population will be of Hispanic origin, and the US will become the world’s second-largest Spanish-speaking country. Yet, according to The National Hispanic Medical Association, only nearly 5% to 6% of physicians identify as Hispanic, and just 2% of non-Hispanic physicians speak Spanish nationwide.

We need more Latinos and bilingual healthcare professionals in Spanish and English to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion and to improve the ability of the field to provide quality and culturally congruent healthcare to our Spanish-speaking population. Therefore, training in a second language and culture is essential for students in the healthcare professions to develop their ability to communicate with and relate to their patients.

These Medical Spanish programs seek to facilitate effective communication between healthcare professionals and their Spanish-speaking patients and clients. To enhance mutual understanding, which is of critical importance within a medical setting, students will practice the five skills entailed in second-language acquisition: speaking, listening, reading, writing, and culture, focusing on specialized medical vocabulary and intercultural communication.

Please carefully follow the directions to obtain your certification, and contact the program´s director, Dr. Marisa Fernández Martínez, at if you have any questions.