Medical Student Workshop Improves Student Confidence in Working With Trained Medical Interpreters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Many physicians care for patients whose primary spoken language is not English, and these interactions present challenges in physician-patient communication. These challenges contribute to the significant health disparities experienced by populations with limited English proficiency (LEP). Using trained medical interpreters is an important step in addressing this problem, as it improves communication outcomes. Despite this, many medical education programs have little formal instruction on how to work effectively with interpreters.

Methods: To address this gap, we created an interactive workshop led by professional trained interpreters and faculty facilitators for medical students in their clinical years. Students were asked to evaluate the session based on relevance to their clinical experiences and helpfulness in preparing them for interactions with patients with LEP.

Results: Immediately after the session, students reported that the clinical scenarios presented were similar those seen on their clinical clerkships. They also reported increased confidence in their ability to work with interpreters. On later follow-up, students reported that the instruction helped prepare them for subsequent patient interactions that involved interpreters.

Conclusion: A workshop is an effective method for improving medical student comfort and confidence when working with interpreters for populations with LEP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2382120520918862
JournalJournal of medical education and curricular development
StatePublished - May 23 2020

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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