Hispanic Center of Excellence

Medical Spanish


This program offers students the opportunity to begin Medical Spanish classes in the spring of the first year and continue to practice and expand language-building skills throughout the second year. The program’s goal is to increase students’ ability to communicate in Spanish in a clinical setting. To this end, all courses at all levels will stress conversational skills and will be conducted primarily in Spanish. Even though the speaking and listening skills will be emphasized, reading and writing skills will be taught to complement the fours basic skills to learn the target language. 

We will offer classes in Beginners I and II, Intermediate I and II, and Advanced Spanish Medical Interviewing with a maximum of 18-20 students in each level.  Students will be placed in levels according to their self-assessment competence and oral assessment directed by an instructor in conversational Spanish.  


Semester Offerings

The spring semester classes will be scheduled during your lunch hour and will meet for approximately 16 sessions. 

The spring session will offer two levels of both Beginners and Intermediate. An Advanced Spanish Medical Interviewing class will also be available for those students who are ready to interview patients in Spanish. 

In the fall, Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced Spanish Medical Interviewing classes will be offered again.  Classes will meet twice a week for approximately 12-14 weeks (dates to be determined), during your lunch hour. 

Extracurricular Opportunities

Students interested in practicing Medical Spanish in the Jacobi ER or in a community clinic can contact Maria Marzán for placement with a Spanish- speaking physician. 


Course Descriptions

Beginners Level I & II Medical Spanish: 

This course will cover the present tense along with basic grammar and vocabulary with an emphasis on simple medical phrases and medical and anatomical terms. 


Level I – For students with no previous instruction in Spanish or VERY limited previous instruction. Just the desire to learn Spanish. 

Level II – For students with some previous instruction or exposure to Spanish or knowledge of another romance language. 

Intermediate Level I & Level II Medical Spanish: 

This course will provide a review of grammar, vocabulary and idiomatic expressions through reading, student presentations, discussions and mock medical history interviews. The vocabulary covered will emphasize medical phrases and medical and anatomical terminology. 


Level I – For students with a solid mastery of the present tense, a fair speaking ability and good oral comprehension. 

Level II – For students with a solid mastery of the present tense (simple present and present progressive), some knowledge of past tenses (simple past and past progressive), solid speaking ability and strong oral comprehension. 

Advanced Spanish Medical Interviewing: 

This course will focus on how to elicit a medical history and conduct a medical interview in a linguistically effective and culturally appropriate manner. Sessions will alternate between practice exchanges with Spanish-speaking volunteer patients and review of relevant grammatical, lexical, and cultural points. Key among the cultural topics explored will be cultural and linguistic differences and similarities in the New York City Spanish-speaking population. 


All the grammar points described below will be necessary for this course since the students’ will use them to interview Spanish-speaking patients. For students with a good to excellent knowledge of Spanish grammar including a strong grasp of the present, past, future, perfect tenses (present perfect) and familiarity with the subjunctive form, past perfect and conditionals. 


Course Objectives

Beginners Level I & II Medical Spanish: 

At the end of this level, the students will be able to 

  • Request basic personal information from a patient (complete name, nationality, country, age, date of birth, civil status, phone number, age, occupation, etc.) 
  • Identify body parts 
  • Distinguish Spanish sounds (consonants and vowels) 
  • Know days and months of the year 
  • Count from 0 to 100 
  • Differentiate feminine from masculine nouns, plural and  singular form of a noun 
  • Use questions words: What?, How many?, Who?, Where?,  When? 
  • Differentiate the three endings of the simple present tense: –AR, - ER, - IR 
  • Use correctly the present progressive: -ANDO, -IENDO 
  • Use reflexive verbs 
  • Use immediate future (going to + verb) 
  • Use imperatives 
  • Recognize direct and indirect object 
  • Use useful medical expressions 

Intermediate Level I & Level II Medical Spanish: 

At the end of this level, the students will be able to 

  • Employ the vocabulary and expressions from  Beginners level I and II 
  • Use reflexive verbs 
  • Use the preterite tense: regular verbs and irregular verbs 
  • Narrate routines in the past 
  • Use the imperfect 
  • Recognize the subjunctive 
  • Use expressions of emotions 
  • Use the imperative 

Advanced Spanish Medical Interviewing: 

This course will be base on the students’ constant oral participation. Main objective is to improve and polish the students’ oral skills related to the Spanish medial interviewing. Every other class there will be a volunteer Spanish-speaking patient. In addition, grammatical points will be reviewed as well as cultural topics. In the regular classes when we do not count on volunteer patients, we will discuss the previous interview and the next interview will be prepared. 



Hispanic Center of Excellence
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Bronx, New York 10461

Cara Stephenson-Hunter
718 430-2657

Natalia Rodriguez
718 430-2697


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