THE BRONX - A doctor at Saint Barnabas Hospital is teaching Spanish to fellow doctors and medical students as a way to prepare them for interacting with Spanish-speaking patients.
The hospital recognized that Spanish is the first language for more than half the residents in the borough and saw there was a barrier between these patients and doctors at the hospital.
Dr. Blanca Grand noticed this problem and got the idea last summer to teach Spanish at the hospital. She now teaches classes every Wednesday during her lunch break for 45 minutes. The doctors learn the terms for different body parts and questions so they know how to properly interview a patient.
The hospital has translator phones, where patients can have their symptoms interpreted to a doctor via a translator, but patients say they appreciate being able to talk one-on-one with doctors. The hospital hopes the Spanish classes can help raise the comfort level between patients and doctors.