Academic and Medical Service Directors

Do you want your students, residents and staff to learn medical Spanish, develop an improved rapport with Spanish-speaking patients?  We are not a Spanish language school, but rather a well-established and reputable medical training organization located in a very desirable area of central Mexico.

 As we are all aware, there have been and will continue be dramatic increases in the Spanish-speaking population in the United States. In many areas of the Southwest, and the West Coast there are generations of people who’s primary language is Spanish. There are presently over 50 million Spanish-speakers in the United States and by 2015 it has been estimated that the Spanish-speaking population will surpass the Anglo population.

Unfortunately, the numbers of Spanish-speaking health professionals have not kept pace with the demographic changes of the US population.  As we all know, the ability to come to an accurate diagnosis is mostly from adequate history. It could even be a life or death matter. Additionally, a strong therapeutic relationship can only be achieved by a communication link between the patient and the healthcare provider. Interpreters cannot reasonably provide that link and any attempt at communicating with the patient in their own language is handsomely rewarded and welcomed by grateful patients and family, even if ultimately an interpreter is needed.  Additionally, it is impressive how often interpretation can wander off course, but someone with a familiarity of the language can better monitor the communications.  These issues have impact in patient compliance and may even decrease medical legal risk.  

Importantly, the health care provider themselves are very enriched by the cultural experience and often find that Latino patients are delightful to work with, mitigating burn out. Finally, being able to speak Spanish greatly increases the profession prospects and makes the healthcare provider a much more desirable and productive team member.  Spanish is rapidly becoming an essential medical skill.

PACE MD’s MedSpanish program has been able to significantly train medical students and residents during one month electives in how to communicate with patients. Because of our one-on-one instruction, most participants leave fluent enough to be able to perform an adequate history and physical. (even if they do not speak any Spanish coming into the program). Because it is combined with clinical immersion in a hospital, clinic or other medical setting, we are typically able to arrange for medical school or residency elective credit, coordinating with program directors.  Similarly, we are able to provide up to 50 Category I AMA CME credits through the University of New Mexico. We also have Global Health experiences with rural mobile health clinics (“brigadas”) and our students have helped pioneer training courses such as the AAFP’s Advanced Life Support for Obstetrics program for Mexican providers. We have trained 13,000 providers in that certification course.  We have EM residents going to local EDs equipped with portable ultrasound equipment.   Family physicians can be found in the Health Ministry’s COPC Clinics.

Our base in is San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato City, a direct two-hour flight from Dallas or Houston. It provides an incredible cultural immersion experience and safety has never been an issue. 

We welcome you and your organization to partake in this life changing experience!

Haywood Hall, MD FACEP, FIFEM, FAAEM .

Professor of Emergency Medicine and Ashoka Fellow 
Emergency and Community Health Physician
Fellow of the International Federation of Emergency Medicine
ACEP Hero of Emergency Medicine