Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic

Medical Interpretation

  • Izabel S. Arocha
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_495


As the immigrant population in the United States becomes more diverse, there is greater demand for medical interpreters. For legal, medical, and ethical reasons, a reliable and accurate medical interpreter is necessary in any medical setting where the provider and the patient do not share the same language. Medical interpreters are especially needed to ensure the legal rights of those who are linguistically diverse and are not able to communicate their symptoms to their healthcare providers so that these professionals can accurately diagnose and treat them. The profession has evolved, as well as the different technologies to provide language services. There are also barriers such as the lack of certified medical interpreters and the lack of reimbursement for language services across most states. Medical interpreters play a pivotal role in meeting the communication needs of the immigrant populations and are integral components of a comprehensive immigrant health policy.


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Suggested Readings

  1. Chen, A. H., Youdelman, M. K., & Brooks, J. (2007). The legal framework for language access in health care settings: Title VI and beyond. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 22(Suppl), 362–367.Google Scholar
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Suggested Resources

  1. American Translators Association – www.atanet.org
  2. International Medical Interpreters Association – www.imiaweb.org
  3. National Council on Interpreting in Health Care – www.ncihc.org

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Izabel S. Arocha
    • 1
  1. 1.International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA)Cambridge Health AllianceBostonUSA