Monday, September 10, 2007


Many Americans speak English as a second language. Those whose health coverage is paid for by their employers may also be living with -- or caring for -- parents who speak no English at all.

In any large urban area it is possible to find patients whose primarylanguage is Spanish, Cantonese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Russian, Portuguese, Farsi, Italian, Greek, Polish, Lithuanian, or Arabic. These patients are likely to gravitate toward a medical practitioner who can speak their language without the need for an interpreter.

A physician who can speak in his patient's native tongue is also likely to be far more sensitive to the religious and cultural mores of the patient's homeland.

Next: Race Or Ethnicity

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