Hablas Español? Spanish in an evolving medical stage
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News items are taken from a number of different sources and do not necessarily reflect the position of DG Interpretation or the European Commission.
At its core, the medical profession is founded on human connections. Long before the advent of modern medicine, let alone a relative understanding of science and the human body, care revolved around relationships, trust and human touch.
After all, the ritual of care always begins with a conversation and human connection. But what if this most basic tenet of care was restricted by an inability to communicate with patients? How does the barrier to communicate limit adequate care and hinder the building of strong physician-patient relationships? And how do we reconcile the need for foreign language proficiency and our current model of medical education?
The social and cultural demographics of the United States are shifting rapidly. This is especially true of the Hispanic population, a group that includes those who link their heritage to Mexico and Spain as well as the Spanish-speaking countries of Central and South America. According to the United States Census Bureau, there are around 56 million people of Hispanic origin in the country — 17.6% of the total population — and it is expected that by 2060 this will expand to roughly 119 million.