Bilingual Health TrackEducating and Graduating Culturally Competent Bilingual Physicians

Students walking on the beach

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 (beginner) will be required to enroll in POM HABLE I. Group II (advanced) students may apply to PBL HABLE I. 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. All BHT students must attend 10 Capstone Project Presentations. 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.
BHT Faculty

Manuela Murray, MD
POM HABLE I

Marcela Navarro Holguin, MD
POM HABLE I

Victor Reyes, PhD
PBL HABLE I & II

David Reynoso, MD, PhD
POM HABLE II

Matthew Dacso, MD, MS
POM HABLE II

Norma A. Pérez, MD, DrPH
POM HABLE I & II
Online Clinical Conversational Spanish

Soham Al Snih, MD, PhD
Online Clinical Conversational Spanish

Rafael Samper-Ternent, MD, PhD
Online Clinical Conversational Spanish
BSHS – MEHU 4411
BLHU – 4002
FAMU – 4021

Bilingual Health Track page list

BLHU-4001 Online Clinical Conversational Spanish

This course is designed to provide you with the knowledge of the basic structures of the Spanish language, and the specialized medical vocabulary needed to communicate effectively with Spanish-speaking patients in a variety of clinical scenarios. The online course is self-paced and has no formal face-to-face interactions except for the video activities. A tutor will be assigned for every student and daily meetings with Dr. Perez will occur. The learning is student-centered rather than instructor-teacher centered. You are responsible for your learning; Dr. Perez will be available as a professional resource and guide.

BLHU-4002 Immersive Clinical Spanish

The course is divided into two phases: half of the day in a clinical setting in Presidio, TX and the other half of the course is completed online. The course is designed to provide you with real life clinical experience in a predominantly Hispanic community clinic in the Texas-Mexico border area. The online portion of the course will provide you with the specialized medical vocabulary needed to communicate effectively with Spanish-speaking patients in a variety of clincial scenarios. Dr. Pérez will be available as a professional resource and guide.

FAMU-4021 Ambulatory Community Elective

1) Student will spend significant clinical time dealing with primary care patients in respect of diagnosing and treating prevalent diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and hyperlipidemia. 2) Student will participate in a US/Mexico Border community-based health education and promotion program emphasizing pre-clinical management and prevention of primary care diseases. 3) Student will spend significant time immersed in a US/Mexico Border Hispanic community developing linguistic and cultural competency skills deployed in respect of healthcare.

Students who would benefit from these courses:

  • Students interested in community-based health education and promotion
  • Students interested in primary care
  • Students interested in public health
  • Students interested in Hispanic healthcare
  • Students interested in acquiring cultural competence

Faculty Director: Norma A. Pérez, MD, DrPH
Location: Presidio, TX

The Big Bend Hospital District (includes Presidio) has stipends for housing in Presidio, TX. In order to apply for a housing stipend and arrange housing, this process should be started 2 months before your rotation start date. Contact Dr. Pérez for additional information.


BHT Curriculum

5 Credits

Groups

Pre-credit

Must test for oral proficiency with Dr. Pérez

Summer Preceptorship

Clinical Years

Capstone Project

Beginner

Basic High - Intermediate/Mid

POM HABLE I & II

Mandatory
[limited space]

Latin America
(2 credits w/GHT)

OR

Predominant Spanish Patient Population Clinics in US (>35%)

Predominant Spanish Patient Population Clinics in US (>35%)

OR

FAMU 4021 (1 credit) – In Presidio, TX

OR

BLHU 4001 (1 credit) – Clinical Conversational Spanish Online Course – Only available during periods 4-6

OR

BLHU 4002 (1 credit) – Immersive Clinical Spanish Hybrid Course – In Presidio, TX

BSHS Elective: MEHU 4411
Mandatory

Advance

Intermediate High - Advanced

Pre-credit

PBL HABLE
I & II
[limited space]

Latin America
(2 credits w/GHT)

OR

Predominant Spanish Patient Population Clinics in US (>35%)

Predominant Spanish Patient Population Clinics in US (>35%)
OR
FAMU 4021 (1 credit) – In Presidio, TX
OR
BLHU 4001 – Clinical Conversational Spanish Online Course – Only available during periods 4-6
OR
BLHU 4002 (1 credit) – Immersive Clinical Spanish Hybrid Course – In Presidio, TX

BSHS Elective: MEHU 4411
Mandatory


Students must attend 10 Bilingual Health Track Presentations over the 4 years. Check our Facebook page as presentations occur monthly.


POM & PBL HABLE Applications

Space is limited for both POM HABLE and PBL HABLE. You may only enroll in one. POM HABLE requires basic-intermediate Spanish. PBL HABLE requires intermediate-advanced Spanish. Dr. Perez will schedule an oral evaluation with each person that completes the application. Places are filled on a first come, first served basis.

Applications for POM HABLE I and PBL HABLE II are now OPEN. Application is now closed.