Medical interpreting is growing industry led by UMass Medical School

By Jennifer Rosinski

UMass Medical School Communications

March 03, 2014

UMass Medical School’s statewide medical interpreter training program, conducted in partnership with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, leads the way in this growing industry, according to an article in the Sunday Telegram & Gazette.

"A good interpreter is interpreting everything that is said," Lisa Morris, director of Cross Cultural Initiatives at UMass Medical School, told the Telegram for the March 2 story. "It is not listening to someone's story and then giving a summarized rendition, which is what generally folks do when they are not trained. Trained interpreters deliver everything. It should be as if it were a recording, without deleting any part of the message."

The article about the rising demand for medical interpreters features the Massachusetts Medical Interpreter Training Program, which has run for the past 15 years as part of the Commonwealth Medicine division’s Massachusetts Area Health Education Center Network.

“Fundamentals of Medical Interpreting” is a 60-hour course offered at six regional MassAHEC offices in the fall and spring, and occasionally summer. It is geared to staff at health care facilities that serve patients enrolled in MassHealth. Applicants must pass a fluency exam in English and a foreign language before they can be accepted.

The program provides interpreters with training in anatomy, physiology and medical terminology in both English and the foreign language, Morris told the Telegram. "People don't usually use medical terminology in their everyday language, so we review this to make sure they are familiar with it," she said.

Read the full article at: Telegram & Gazette: Medical interpreting a growing industry

Related links on UMassMedNow:

Medical interpreters prepare for certification

MassAHEC named Language Access Champion: National Council on Interpreting in Health Care honors Medical Interpreter Training program

Interpreters for limited English patients shorten hospital stays

Successful Massachusetts medical interpreter training program goes to Texas