, Volume 25, Issue 2 Supplement, pp 155-159
Date: 30 Mar 2010

Beyond Knowledge, Toward Linguistic Competency: An Experiential Curriculum

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Abstract

Introduction/Aims

Training is essential for future health care providers to effectively communicate with limited English proficient (LEP) patients during interpreted encounters. Our aim is to describe an innovative skill-based medical school linguistic competency curriculum and its impact on knowledge and skills.

Setting

At Stanford University School of Medicine, we incorporated a linguistic competency curriculum into a 2-year Practice of Medicine preclinical doctoring course and pediatrics clerkship over three cohorts.

Program Description

First year students participated in extensive interpreter-related training including: a knowledge-based online module, interactive role-play exercises, and didactic skill-building sessions. Students in the pediatrics clerkship participated in interpreted training exercises with facilitated feedback.

Program Evaluation

Knowledge and skills were evaluated in the first and fourth years. First year students’ knowledge scores increased (pre-test = 0.62, post-test = 0.89, P < 0.001), and they demonstrated good skill attainment during an end-year performance assessment. One cohort of students participated in the entire curriculum and maintained performance into the fourth year.

Discussion

Our curriculum increased knowledge and led to skill attainment, each of which showed good durability for a cohort of students evaluated 3 years later. With a growing LEP population, these skills are essential to foster in future health care providers to effectively communicate with LEP patients and reduce health disparities.