Medical Spanish Elective

Medical Spanish is a practical, hands-on course for first-year medical students interested in developing the vocabulary and skills needed to effectively communicate with Spanish speaking patients. Using a problem-based curriculum (Problem-Based Medical Spanish), and guided by native Spanish-speaking health professionals, students practice interviewing “patients” with the following chief complaints:

  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever in pediatric patient
  • Common urinary tract complaints
  • Female patient of child bearing age with gynecologic complaints

Students also practice developing a differential diagnosis, recommending a logical workup, conducting patient education, and effectively discussing treatment plans. As a complement to the class, students also have the opportunity to participate in Saturday Spanish Rotations at the Instituto Mexicano de Seguro Social (IMSS) Hospital in Nogales, Sonora.

Who should apply?

  • First-year medical students in the Tucson campus
  • With a minimum of 2 years of Spanish, preferably at the College level
  • Able to demonstrate an intermediate to advanced proficiency level in Spanish conversation

Course schedule

The elective course is offered in the Fall and Spring semesters. The class meets every week for two one-hour sessions and on the following days/times:

  • Group A – Monday 12-1 pm and Friday 4-5 pm
  • Group B – Monday 12-1 pm and Friday 3-4 pm

There is a maximum enrollment of 7 students in each group.

How can I apply?

  • First-year medical students in the Tucson campus are invited to apply, via email, at the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters.


For additional information contact Alejandra Zapien, 520-621-5592,