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Spanish class for CA school

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by XRanger, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. XRanger

    XRanger Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 27, 2005
    for many CA schools, it says Spanish is highly recommended.

    does it matter if I take a year of spanish or just a semester/quarter?
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  3. Wanna_B_Scutty

    Wanna_B_Scutty MS1 2+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2006
    Take as much as you possibly can!!!

    They're not recommending it for your health. They're recommending it because it's the one pre-med class that you'll actually use in med school. :thumbup:

    Here in my northeastern city, >25% of our patients speak only Spanish. Thus, I suspect that in certain CA hospitals, you'll find >50% at least speak Spanish only. If you're forced to use the services of interpreters during >50% of your patient encounters, you will have a very, very tough time.
  4. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse Administrator Physician SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    If you are going to take Spanish just because some med school "highly recommends" it, I do not think that you should take it at all. That time would be better served by studying to boost your MCAT score or something.

    If you are going to take Spanish because you want to really be able to communicate with large portions of medically underserved people in this country, or because you love the cultures/literature/music, take as much as you can fit into your schedule.

    Taking a year of Spanish (or worse, just a semester) will NOT boost your application. That's not enough time to learn enough Spanish to speak intelligibly with a patient. It would not be impressive in the adcom's eyes. When they recommend Spanish, what they really want is an applicant that can demonstrate a certain level of proficiency. Being able to say "Ho-la. Co-mo es-ta?" isn't enough to cut it.
  5. XRanger

    XRanger Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 27, 2005
    I would like to take more, but my schedule is just too packed because I'm also doing a minor and doing research+job. I like spanish but learning it to the point of being fluent takes a lot of commitment and I don't have time for it.

    I just heard that not having any spanish background puts you in a disadvantage for many med schools especially in CA. that's why I'm planning to take spanish in college. I already have 4 years of spanish including AP in HS, so hopefully I can learn it faster in college.
  6. dochoov

    dochoov Intercalating Death Disk 2+ Year Member

    Jan 24, 2007
    If you plan on taking classes during college I strongly recommend a semester, or summer, abroad (that's what I did). I learned more in three months living with host families, constantly speaking with them, than I could have from classes. If you get yourself in a good study service program, you may also have the opportunity to serve in a clinic, which sometimes be worthwhile but at least looks good on your application.
  7. paranoid_eyes

    paranoid_eyes 2+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    omg, i cannot emphasize this enough. you do NOT need to take spanish 5, 6,... to show that you are trying to get proficient in spanish. conversational spanish is WAAAY more important than all the theory and literature you will study if you take high levels of spanish (if you only take spanish 1 or 2, you aren't going to learn much anyways). if you REALLY REALLY want to learn spanish, go abroad for even a month and you will be surprised just how much you will pick up. it doesn't matter if you know how to use this tense or that tense or how to conjugate a particular verb on paper. all you need to do is be able to speak to a patient in spanish (intuitively).
  8. SkunkCheese

    SkunkCheese 7+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2007
    I lived a few years in argentina and while i was there i learned how to speak spanish. i am now a certified medical interpreter for a local hospital. The fact of the matter is, the population of non-english speaking patients is growing and will continue to do so. The hospital that employ's me offers free spanish classes to its nurses and doctors because of the growing concern. The more spanish you know the better off you'll be in the long run.
  9. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2004

    Some Spanish >> little Spanish >> no Spanish.

    Posters are right that studying in a Spanish-speaking country is great for your Spanish, but if you don't have the time/money, just study it here as much as you can. You'll have plenty of time to practice it on the job.
  10. lord_jeebus

    lord_jeebus 和魂洋才 Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2003
    On one of the first days of my 3rd year of med school I got sent at 2 AM to get a history from a Spanish-speaking patient.

    Asking "does it hurt when you pee" using only body language is harder than you think.

    Please take as much Spanish as you can if you plan on going to a CA med school.
  11. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search 5+ Year Member

    Dec 4, 2005
    Right behind you
    One word = television.
  12. GoingDaDistance

    GoingDaDistance 7+ Year Member

    If you are planning on attending a california school, I would defenitely invest some time taking spanish... Even if only for one semester - if thats all the time you have!

    ...As knowing even just the basics can get you by... (this is comming from a Los Angeles resident who took only a semester of Spanish and learned the rest through work related experiences in the health field...) :thumbup:
  13. mikeinsd

    mikeinsd predictably unpredictable 2+ Year Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    if you already have 4 yrs you most likely wouldnt need more, unless you have managed to forget it all, or you never learned how to speak very well...

    going into college i had four years of french with AP, so i took so more french in college as my litt/language pre-reqs (because i got out of a few classes thanks to my AP credit)

    looking back i wish i had spanish, i am in southern california and will be going to med school here somehwere, and i know it will be useful... I also work full time in a position that involves a lot of spanish... knowing this I went to Peru for 2 months after graduation before taking my job, and now i speak spanish every day, even take patient histories, etc (brief ones, not full ones). This was a big selling point suring my interviews, that i am USING MY SPANISH TO HELP PEOPLE now, not just that i have the ability to speak it...

    so, my advice is that if you know enough now, dont bother with classes, just find a volunteer position where you get to practice it, and you will get better and better

    however if you arent comfortable with that, take a few classes, until you are conversational, then do it...

    trust me - showing them you can speak it, and that you do speak it, to help people, is better than some classes on a transcript (because i technically never took a spanish class, but it worked for me)

    gl - mike

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