One student’s journey into medical Spanish
- By: Henry Tufton, Anita P Berlin
Every year, thousands of English medical students spend their electives in countries where they do not know much of the language. Most get by with a phrase book and by relying on the fact that English seems to be most people’s second language if it is not their first. I suspect these students enjoy their elective but wished they could have spoken a bit more of the local language to understand the patients better.
I was keen to study a medical language, both to further my linguistic abilities and to immerse myself better in whichever country I chose for my elective. As I wanted to go to a Latin American country I chose Spanish.
Unfortunately, my medical school did not offer a medical Spanish course, so I was left with the choice of paying for private classes or teaching myself the subject. Having missed the deadline for grants for private