The University of Texas at Austin Launches Medical Interpreter Training for Bilingual Healthcare Workers

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UT Professional Development Center provides unique educational opportunity for people who speak both Spanish and English

“Through this course we want to make sure that everyone who provides translations in medical settings has the language skills and technical knowledge needed to ensure effective communication.” - course instructor Dr. Glenn Martinez

The Professional Development Center (UT PDC) at The University of Texas at Austin is proud to announce the Medical Interpreter Training Seminar (MITS). This new 40-hour program, conducted evenings and weekends on the university campus, is designed to train bilingual healthcare workers to interpret for Spanish-speaking patients and English-speaking doctors. Course participants gain the practical and analytical skills they need to become powerful, trusted sources of information for both their colleagues and the patients they serve.

“Our new Medical Interpreter Training Seminar offers a unique opportunity to people who speak both English and Spanish and who are either currently working in healthcare or want to enter this field,” states Liliya Spinazzola, director of UT PDC. “These professionals must often deliver some of the most important news—good or bad—that many people ever hear. This program gives medical interpreters the knowledge and background they need to speak with conviction, compassion and authority.”

MITS prepares participants to take the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreter’s Exam. The certification is a nationally-recognized professional credential that reflects that the holder is highly-skilled and possesses a thorough knowledge of medical terminology and interpreter ethics and regulations.

The program courses are taught by highly-qualified instructors leading small classes designed to allow students to receive individual, personal attention. Tutoring for MITS is also available at no additional charge.

Dr. Glenn Martinez, director of the Medical Spanish Program at UT-Pan American and a MITS course instructor adds: “Through this course we want to make sure that everyone who provides translations in medical settings has the language skills and technical knowledge needed to ensure effective communication.”

The schedule for MITS, beginning March 9 and ending June 23, is as follows:

  • March 9 – March 10: “Medical Terminology,” including English/Spanish descriptions of human anatomy, physiological systems, medical tests, equipment and diagnostics.
  • April 13 – April 14: “Medical Specialties,” including English/Spanish descriptions of specific procedures and technologies regarding emergency medicine, surgery, pediatrics, OB/GYN, cardiology, neurology and much more.
  • May 18 – May 19: “Interpreting Regulations, Protocols, and Ethics,” including confidentiality, accuracy and completeness, role boundaries, impartiality and conflict of interest.
  • June 22 – June 23: “Medical Interpreting Skills,” including guided practice of medical interpretation to develop advanced skills.

For more information, please contact Betsy Arumi at or (512) 232-4334.

About the Professional Development Center:

The Professional Development Center (PDC), an enterprise of the Division of Continuing and Innovative Education at The University of Texas at Austin, offers a wide range of programs and courses designed to help individuals and organizations around the world improve personal, professional and organizational performance. To meet this goal, PDC offers high quality non-credit courses, professional certificate programs, consulting, coaching, and facilitation services, both online and on the university campus.

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