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Bilingual Health Track

Educating and Graduating Culturally Competent Bilingual Physicians

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UTMB School of Medicine introduces medical students to culturally tailored clinical experiences, medical knowledge in the Spanish language, and clinical experiences abroad and in the US. The Bilingual Health Track (BHT) is a one of a kind scholarly concentration that emphasizes and addresses cultural competency in Hispanic health during the student's academic years.

Students are tested for the level of oral proficiency and are placed in either one of the two groups. You will be tested and certified for your oral proficiency by Dr. Norma Perez, who is certified by the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Please read instructions carefully to make an appointment with Dr. Perez.

Those in Group I will be required to enroll in POM HABLE I and/or PBL HABLE I. Group II students do not have any pre-required courses. They may start earning credits as of their summer preceptorship. All students must complete five elective credits and submit a final capstone project during year 4. Table below is the curriculum layout for your use.

Students are required to complete five credits through an experience abroad in Latin America/Spain or a clerkship in the US in a predominant Spanish-speaking patient population or take the online Clinical Conversational Spanish course.

In year four, the student must complete a selective. The written report must be on Hispanic health with an emphasis on cultural competency based on past clinical encounters. MEHU 4411 has BSHS credit and FAMU 4022 has ACS credit.

All students enrolled in the School of Medicine are eligible.

The curriculum is integrated across the four years of medical school.

Students graduate:

  • Proficient in medical Spanish terminology.
  • Proficient in history-taking and physical exam
  • Proficient in terminology relevant to patient education with regards to disease prevention, diagnosis, pathophysiology, therapy and prognosis in Spanish
  • Culturally competent in Hispanic health
  • Once the student completes the BHT credits he/she will receive a certificate of completion and verbal recognition at the time of graduation and it will be reflected in the Dean's letter. The student will be tested for certification in oral proficiency in the Spanish language. This certification will be valid for two years and from the American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages.


Applications for POM HABLE I are closed
(Students from POM HABLE I automatically rollover into POM HABLE II)

Applications for PBL HABLE I are closed

BHT Checklist (For current BHT students. Please fill and submit every year.)

2015 Curriculum:

Groups Test
for Oral Proficiency
Pre - requisites Summer Preceptorship Clerkships Capstone Project
Certify Oral Proficiency
Advanced Basic to Intermediate - Mid
Latin America (GHT) OR Predominant Spanish Patient Population Clinics in America Predominant Spanish Patient Population Clinics/Hospitals
FAMU - 4021
MEHU 4411 (Mandatory)
ACS - FAMU 4022
Intermediate - High to Advanced
None Latin America (GHT)
Predominant Spanish Patient Population Clinics in America
Clinical Conversational Spanish Online Course - Summer Preceptorship BHLU 1050
(1 credit)
Predominant Spanish Patient Population Clinics/Hospitals
Clinical Conversational Spanish Online Course
Elective for MS3 and MS4 BHLU 4001
(1 credit)
FAMU - 4021
MEHU 4411
ACS - FAMU 4022
The University of Texas Medical Branch has a proud tradition of excellence in teaching, scholarly research, curricular innovation and in meeting the healthcare needs of the State of Texas. As director of the Hispanic Center of Excellence, my primary objective is to provide faculty and students with future opportunities in career advancement, research, clinical practice, mentorship, counseling, and pre-medical academic enrichment programs to promising students. The HCOE's history in UTMB dates back to 1992, through federal funding by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration.