BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Cultural barriers and patient-provider language discordance exert deleterious effects on patient care. One solution has been the integration of medical interpreters into the care of patients with limited English proficiency. While medical schools and residency programs have started developing training programs on how to work with medical interpreters, no similar endeavor has been reported by student-run free clinics. METHODS: Over 1 year, 76 third-year medical students (MS3s) were enrolled in control and intervention groups, and evaluated by in-person interpreters during interpreted real-patient encounters. MS3s in the intervention group received a lesson- and reminder-based training program on how to work with in-person interpreters. RESULTS: MS3s who received the intervention were more likely to ask the patient one question at a time (odds ratio [OR] 3.54, P=.0079), listen to the interpreter without unnecessary interruption (OR 3.30, P=.022), and speak in short, simple sentences with pauses for interpretation (OR 3.08, P=.017). CONCLUSIONS: Our lesson- and reminder-based training program on provider-interpreter collaboration can improve the performance of MS3s within a select skill set with minimal cost and time investment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Family Practice