Developing cultural competence through the introduction of medical Spanish into the veterinary curriculum

Jordan D. Tayce, Suzanne Burnham, Glennon Mays, Juan Carlos Robles, Donald J. Brightsmith, Virginia R. Fajt, Dan Posey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The AAVMC has prioritized diversity as one of its core values. Its DiVersity Matters initiative is helping veterinary medicine prepare for the changing demographics of the United States. One example of the changing demographics is the growing Hispanic population. In 2013, the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences responded to the needs of this growing sector by introducing medical Spanish into the core curriculum for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) students. The medical Spanish course takes place over 5 weeks during the second year of the curriculum, and is composed of lectures and group learning. While this may seem like a very compressed time frame for language learning, our goal is to provide students with basic medical vocabulary and a limited number of useful phrases. In this paper, we outline the implementation of a medical Spanish course in our curriculum, including our pedagogical approaches to the curricular design of the course, and an explanation of how we executed these approaches. We also discuss the successes and challenges that we have encountered, as well as our future plans for the course. We hope that the successes and challenges that we have encountered can serve as a model for others who plan to introduce a foreign language into their curriculum as a component of cultural competency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-397
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 AAVMC.


  • Blended learning
  • Cultural competence
  • Diversity
  • Medical Spanish
  • Veterinary education


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