Many medical students begin medical school with second language skills and aspirations of becoming bilingual physicians. Up until this year, medical students were not offered any proficiency testing at UNM to determine whether or not their second language skills were adequate to provide safe patient care during their medical training. In summer 2019, Undergraduate Medical Education conducted a pilot project in collaboration with UNMH Interpreter Language Services Department in which 3rd and 4th year students were offered oral language proficiency testing. The response to the offer was quite interesting: students requested testing in many different languages and over 20 students tested. Most students tested at high enough levels of proficiency to be deemed prepared to provide safe language services in a second language. There were a few students who found that they need more study in the second language to ensure safe patient communication. Next steps will be to decide whether this testing will be routinely offered, if it will be required, and how it will be monitored.
Rohan-Minjares, Felisha; E Zoe Schutzman; Mattalynn Chavez; Ricardo Galicia; and Cecilia Valverde. "Oral Proficiency Language Testing for Medical Students." (2019). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hsc_ed_day/47