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papajohns

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Hello all,

I am sorry to ask a probably stupid question, but I thought I would do it anyway! I am a midwesterner who would like to do some surgery away electives next year. In looking on the ACS programs website, all of the programs look great to me, which is a dilemma.

However, USC's surgery program especially stands out to me with their emphasis on serving the underserved in the area. However, it seems that a majority of this population is Spanish speaking and I unfortunately do not speak any foreign languages. I know that this will probably not be too much of an issue on an elective surgery rotation, but I just wanted to make sure that I would not be slowing everyone down. That, however, is assuming that I will be talking to the patients at all because coming from a small school I might have a very skewed perception of what medical students actually do in other areas!

Thanks for any input.
 

Castro Viejo

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Hello all,

I am sorry to ask a probably stupid question, but I thought I would do it anyway! I am a midwesterner who would like to do some surgery away electives next year. In looking on the ACS programs website, all of the programs look great to me, which is a dilemma.

However, USC's surgery program especially stands out to me with their emphasis on serving the underserved in the area. However, it seems that a majority of this population is Spanish speaking and I unfortunately do not speak any foreign languages. I know that this will probably not be too much of an issue on an elective surgery rotation, but I just wanted to make sure that I would not be slowing everyone down. That, however, is assuming that I will be talking to the patients at all because coming from a small school I might have a very skewed perception of what medical students actually do in other areas!

Thanks for any input.

It probably won't be an issue. I went to medical school in an area where the majority of the patients were speaking Spanish or Creole. I speak pretty much only English. I did fine. I now work in a place where we get tons of Spanish-speaking patients. I'm still doing fine after five years.

You'll be fine. You won't fail your surgical rotation because you can't speak Spanish. I can almost guarantee you that the majority of the residents at USC Surgery can't speak a word of spanish other than, "Usted tiene dolor?"
 
B

Blade28

I did an away rotation at USC (CT Surg/Trauma) and don't speak a lick of Spanish. I did fine.

Similar to the above post, the only key medical phrase I know is "tiene dolor aqui?".
 
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NJA61479

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I am a resident at USC and spent my youth becoming fluent in french. Since coming to LA I can now conduct a standard medical interview in spanish just by knowing vocabulary and specific questions. You will be fine. Many of the residents don't speak spanish. The nurses all either speak spanish, korean or tagalog so they can translate for about 80% of the patients. Also the med students inevitably speak something useful.
If you have any other questions about the program, send me an e-mail and I'll be more than happy to answer all of your questions.
 
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