SANTIAGO, Chile, Oct. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Ecela (http://ecelaspanish.com) is a modestly sized language-learning institute based in South America that's already having a big impact on the lives of students. Probably the best example of this impact is the Spanish and Medicine study abroad program (https://ecelaspanish.com/spanish-medicine-cusco-peru-summer-2017/), which is preparing the next generation of health care professionals to deliver better care to the hundreds of millions of Spanish speakers around the world – particularly the 40-plus million who will call the U.S. home by 2020.
Ecela Program Director Cecilia Quezada has a personal stake in the institute's bold mission. "My mother lives in the U.S. to help raise her grandchildren," she says. "She has been there for over 10 years, but her English is little better than when she arrived. Why am I so passionate about the Spanish and Medicine program? It's easy – I see each of our students as my mother's future doctor or nurse."
The quality of health care interactions is directly related to the quality of communication between patient and provider – so a language barrier is an obvious problem. A major component of the Spanish and Medicine program is the health care field exposure, which includes shadowing doctors as they work in nearby clinics. The emphasis on health care continues in the classroom, as students participate in medical role-playing and vocabulary classes. Finally, the chance to see firsthand how a less-wealthy nation manages its health care system is an invaluable opportunity that ambitious future professionals should not pass up.
A recent survey of pre-med students in the U.S. revealed agreement on the idea that doctors and nurses are ethically obliged to treat all patients to the best of their abilities. "I believe that it is the responsibility of all healthcare professionals to provide help to those in need regardless of nationality, race, and economic status," remarked Taylor J., a biology major at Fisk University.
Zara Shah, an anthropology student at Binghamton University, echoed those sentiments. "We need to bring back compassion for all members of the human race," she said. "This compassion needs to cross boundaries based on race, skin color, religion, and sexuality, and get straight to understanding our fellow human's needs. I feel individualism in the U.S. has contributed to a selfish approach and a negative type of nationalism, and that needs to be changed. The U.S. needs to recognize its roots in diversity. Diversity of people and culture is What Makes America Great."
"When a patient knows that her doctor has taken the time to learn Spanish, to learn HER language, she feels like a welcome member of that community, not an invisible outsider," says Ecela President Ken Ingraham. "Our ex-students don't just provide treatment. Those little exchanges of cultural empathy often make their patients' day."
Pre-med students interested in the 2017 Ecela Spanish and Medicine program can apply here. Two session will be held next year: May 21 to July 22 and July 2 to September 2. Enrollment is limited 45, so students are encouraged to apply early. Two sessions will he
Ecela (http://ecelaspanish.com) is a Spanish language-learning program with six sites in Peru, Chile and Argentina. Thousands of students from across the globe have taken advantage of the small classes and affordable tuition to learn Spanish while enjoying everything the local culture has to offer.
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