I would say take Spanish if you have a language requirement and you don't know what to take. That's what I did and now I'm pretty good at it. I'm even going over to Spain this Summer. Funny thing is that the Hispanic population in Delaware is REALLY increasing rapidly (like 250% or something in the past 10 years?) so it is applicable in a large part of the US.
If you really want to take another language go ahead. But don't shut out Spanish for some stupid reason like it's what everyone else is doing or you don't like hispanic people (not that you would say either, but I've heard both excuses).
•••quote:•••Originally posted by flyingillini:
•I have heard that it is almost a necessity. How many of you are fluent in it, or take it in college. Is it necessary or a plus to take it in college?•••••definitely not a necessity, but it could help depending on where you want to live/practice. I don't think many med schools will look down on you for not knowing it, since few people do... even the ones who claim to take so many years of classes still have a hard time conversing casually.
Some schools like UCLA list it as "highly recommended" - and I have heard that some schools in CA are CONSIDERING making a year of Spanish a requirement sometime in the future. So if you are still in college, I'd say do it. The earlier you start, the better it sticks.
I agree, take Spanish if you have the chance. At the hospital where my mom works at, something like 70% speak Spanish. There were times when I was volunteering that the young children of patients had to pose as a translater. Some doctors are even going back to school at night to learn the language and would perfer to invite doctors who can talk spanish to join their practice. SO go for it!
I think knowing another language is always valuable, but don't take Spanish unless you have time or see an immediate need. I live in CA and always regret taking French instead of Spanish in school - but I went to school in New England where there actually were alot of French speakers. If you're unsure of how important an particular language is in your region, take a look at the local health care job listings. Usually, you'll see if there is a big need for people fluent in a specific language.
I would recommend taking Spanish in college, not primarily as a reason to flaunt it to medical schools. Knowledge of the language will indeed make you feel closer to a lot many people and will be VERY helpful anywhere.
As a current medical student, I HIGHLY recommend taking Spanish. The Hispanic population in the United States is growing faster than almost any other group, and it is not as confined to large, Californian and Texan cities as many would think. In Washington State, for example, many of the agricultural workers--a significant portion of the population--are Hispanic.
Just yesterday I was looking at competetive residency programs, and many of them say that knowledge of Spanish will give you the edge in an application, if all other things are equal.
I am currently planning to take an intensive Spanish language course in Mexico early in my fourth year of medical school. And I wish I'd learned it easier, as I've already come across the language barrier in multiple settings.
If you live in Miami, I highly recommend it. Many of the patients here only speak Spanish. So, if you want to communicate effectively with them, Spanish is a must. Besides, Spanish is a beautiful language. Learning Spanish (or any other language) is a way to enrich your life because you are learning something new.
At VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) to get a BS in Biology or any of the sciences you have to pass a proficiency test up to 2nd year of a foreign language or take one year of a foreign language. I am just finishing my second semester of Spanish. I have really learned a lot. My teacher was awesome.
I am a Cali resident living in PA. When I went to HS i took french as my language but when I entered UCLA I took Spanish for my lnaguage requirement even though I could have tested out of it for french. Why you ask? I want to be a docotr in CA! In the future it is possible that spanish speaking people will outnumber white people in CA.
That being said I believe that it is unfair that the spanish speaking group get all the attention and that doctors should cater to them. What about all the southeast asian population in CA. No one is going out of their way to understand them.
Spanish is a little differnet from other language groups in the US because a much higher percentage speak Spanish only compared to say French or Chinese.
That is, a higher percentage of the American Chinese speaking population can also speak English, whereas the American hispanic population percentage-wise that can speak English too is lower than any other language group.
I'd say in the next 50 years Spanish is going to be a necessity in every state in the country (except maybe for a few western states like Montana or Wyoming)
i graduated with a major in spanish and every school i interviewed at loved the fact that i not only speak it but took it to the next level. It is an awesome feeling to have a doc say-- oh good...you're here- tell me what this person is saying!!
•••quote:•••I'd say in the next 50 years Spanish is going to be a necessity in every state in the country (except maybe for a few western states like Montana or Wyoming)••••Why would it be a necessity? I sure hope that in the next 50 years, 2nd and 3rd generation children of latino immigrants have become fluent in English by then. If not, there's something really wrong with the school system. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="eek.gif" />
well, sure some of them will learn English. But the hispanic population is increasing so rapidly and its fairly easy to get by in America with Spanish-only. We're getting to the point where all governmental affairs are conducted in both spanish and english.
Therefore, there will continue to be a large part of the hispanic population that speaks Spanish only.
•••quote:•••But the hispanic population is increasing so rapidly and its fairly easy to get by in America with Spanish-only.••••I agree that knowing Spanish IN ADDITION to English is a plus. However, how can you expect the American economy to continue to prosper when you let latino immigrants and their children merely "get by" without any knowledge of English? If we continue to cater to the idea that "getting by" with no English is okay, then these children will not have the desire to learn English in school...which might eventually lead to more dropouts (according to a PBS special the other night).
I sympathize with you I really do. And I am inclined to agree with you. But the reality is that the hispanic influence is increasing so rapidly that theres not enough resources or dedication to influencing English as the primary language.
It would be the same way if there were massive numbers of Americans migrating to Mexico. Once it reaches a critical mass, English would become just as common as Spanish.
I think Spanish is important if you will be working with Spanish speaking patients. For me, it is extremely important, being from California and because I want to work in underserved areas. My parents emigrated from Ecuador, so my first language was Spanish and I majored in Spanish as well. Until med school starts I will continue to work as a medical interpreter for patients applying for disability or worker's compensation benefits.
I agree with what MacGyver has said. A higher percentage of people in the US do speak Spanish. Lavndrrose, children of immigrant parents do learn English, and actually, the children of first generation parents are usually no longer bilingual. In regards to your comment about the economy, according to Jorge Ramos' book, "La Otra Cara de Am?rica," the National Academy of Sciences has found that immigrants, the majority of them Latin American, contribute 10 billion dollars to the economy of the US. I think the majority of immigrants do think that English and an education is important and teach that to their children, so that they do not have to work strenuous jobs in factories, in the fields or as nannies or housekeepers.
•••quote:•••the children of first generation parents are usually no longer bilingual.••••If this were true...it would be really sad. There's always an advantage to being bilingual.
Amaecua, I think you're missing my point. I never said that children of immigrant parents don't learn English. Macgyver said that it's fairly easy to "get by" in America with Spanish only. I'm just advocating the fact that immigrants who learn or speak English will have better windows of opportunity available to them. English = better education = better jobs
•••quote:•••In regards to your comment about the economy, according to Jorge Ramos' book, "La Otra Cara de Am?rica," the National Academy of Sciences has found that immigrants, the majority of them Latin American, contribute 10 billion dollars to the economy of the US.••••This is great for the economy... but what kind of jobs are they leading? Hard, strenous labor, right? They came here for a better life (it might be better overall), but they should understand that if they aim high enough (i.e., learn English), then maybe they will not have to be subjected to strenous labor.
Sorry, I must have misunderstood you. I totally agree with you that immigrants that speak English will have better opportunities and won't have to work strenous jobs. They do come for a better life and should learn English but unfortunately a lot of immigrants do not come here with an education and have to work long hours, so many are unable to get an education and learn English. They might have to support their family here as well as in their country, or they may not even know how to read, so it makes it more difficult to put learning English as a priority if they can get by without knowing the language. I do understand what you're saying though.
That was funny, but J-Lo is Puerto Rican.
Actually I'd love to get some fluency in Spanish, but I'm really afraid to take it since it would probably lower my GPA drastically (I'm not very good with languages, I have problems even with english!). Anyway is there a way to take a lot of spanish courses somehow and not let it affect GPA? (P/F isn't a good idea I know because I heard too many of those can raise an eyebrow)
•••quote:•••Originally posted by johnM:
•of course, if Dra. Foxy were around, she'd tell us that Spanish is the most important thing you can learn! •••••Yes I would! Spanish is awesome and I highly recommend anyone learn it, even if you don't plan to practice in a heavily populated Hispanic area. It will enable you to learn about a new culture in general, which is very beneficial to a physician.
Fact of the matter is, Hispanics form the largest minority in Florida and in a few years, according to the latest census, it will be the largest minority in the U.S. The earlier you learn it, the better. Then, once you learn it, USE IT! It was hard for me to converse in Spanish initially, but I forced myself and was able to learn it quickly (I volunteered in a migrant clinic and nobody knew English, so I had no choice but to use my Spanish).
So anyway, while it is not a necessity, it is something that is very good to know.
•••quote:•••Originally posted by Tobtolip:
•Actually I'd love to get some fluency in Spanish, but I'm really afraid to take it since it would probably lower my GPA drastically (I'm not very good with languages, I have problems even with english!). Anyway is there a way to take a lot of spanish courses somehow and not let it affect GPA? (P/F isn't a good idea I know because I heard too many of those can raise an eyebrow)•••••There are private language schools that only teach foreign languages, but I think they're pretty expensive (but not accredited so it wouldn't go on your AMCAS transcript). If you are really serious about learning a language, you could always buy Spanish classes on tape/CD and just learn on your own.
it is tough on the wallet but the best way to learn is to go on a study abroad-- costa rica is a personal fav!!!! you will learn more about culture and people- but your abilty in spanish will increase more than you can imagine! Bilingual ability will really set you above the norm (until it becomes the norm)
You don't have to get a course to study Spanish. All you need is to have friends who speak the language and buy a textbook. I honestly think that texts on Spanish verbs are more efiicient tools than computer software.
Well, I hoped I'd be asked about my level of Spanish but it never came up in any of my interviews. Que mala suerte! Pero estoy contenta porque puedo hablar espanol.
English is my third language. This fall I plan on starting Spanish and Arabic. If I manage to learn these two languages, I will speak 5 languages total. In U.S. I think Spanish population is growing rapidly in many parts of the country. I would love to be able to communicate with my foreign patients in Spanish, or other languages, but I'm not learning languages for this reason. I just like languages.
I also think that learning another language, at a certain level, can help you empathize with the difficulties faced by patients who are not native english speakers and, say, might have some difficulty conveying exactly what they want to say to you in a vsit. I have tutored/taught ESL and I feel that my own experience learning a new language, particularly the composition class, in which we are actually expected to be eloquent, has helped me to be a better teacher/tutor, and will help me be more creative when it comes to communication barriers in clinical practice, linguistic or otherwise. Also, if you're going to learn a language, Spanish is definitely increasingly prominent in the US so it's a good one to pick up. Immersion, though, as others have said, is the best way to learn, so surround yourself with Spanish-speakers and don't let them let you speak English if you really want to learn it well.