New intensive Spanish for healthcare professionals course

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Since this blog is dedicated to teaching Spanish to healthcare professionals, I would like to take this opportunity to let you know about a new intensive course offered by the Universidad de Oviedo in Asturias, Spain. For more information on the course or regarding any questions you may have, you can email the author of this blog (who helped to design the course): or the Deputy Director of La Casa de las Lenguas at the Universidad de Oviedo: To register, click here and then go to the last link on the page.


This course is intended for healthcare professionals (for example, physicians, nurses, medical interpreters, students who are studying medicine or plan to study medicine) who would like to improve their Spanish. The course offers specific training to improve linguistic competency in Spanish, including specialized medical terminology, Latino dialect variants used frequently by patients in clinic, and available resources that the professional can consult to resolve questions or doubts which may arise. The content is based on research conducted in the United States clinic setting. In light of some gaps in education found during the research process, the course has been designed to provide specific and intensive training in such a way as to fill these gaps with the goal of developing the professional´s communicative skills. Even though the course is taught in Spain, the material is designed for medical professionals who work with Latino patients. For that reason, there is a heavy focus on Latino culture and Latino dialects. However, students will also have the opportunity to learn about the Spain system as well. The academic portion is complemented by a practicum in the clinic setting.


Date: May 19th to June 13th

Hours: 80 classroom hours and 20 in-clinic practicum hours

Location: La Casa de Las Lenguas at the Universidad de Oviedo in Asturias, Spain

Classes taught:

  • Medical Terminology (20 hours)
  • Grammar and vocabulary in the clinical context (20 hours)
  • Strategies for good communication: The medical interview (20 hours)
  • Myths and beliefs in Hispanic American culture regarding health and illness (20 hours)

Seminars: Students are invited to attend seminars presented by professors from Oviedo´s Medical School (la Facultad de Medicina y Ciencias de la Salud), which is considered one of the most prestigious in Spain.

Practicum: Students will have the opportunity to work along side Spanish medical professionals, in order to practice and further internalize the knowledge and the skills they are learning. The practicum will be tailored to the academic level and experience of the professional. See below for more information regarding the practicum.

Cultural activities: Included in the course costs are four cultural activities:

  1. A guided tour of Oviedo´s historic district
  2. A welcome “espicha” (traditional Asturian party)
  3. An excursion to visit a few of the historic and beautiful locations here in the mountains of Asturias: Covadonga, Los Lagos de Covadonga and Cangas de Onís
  4. An excursion to visit another region of Spain and see more of the Spanish culture: the cities of León and Astorga.

Room and board: Students have the option of staying at the OVIDA student residence along with Spanish medical students and university students.


Maximum number of students: 15

Minimum Spanish level: Intermediate (or B1 in the Common European Framework of Reference)

Registration: Admission is decided strictly by order of registration. Preregistration is from January 2, 2014 to February 28, 2014. Preregistration involves the completion of a registration form and the payment of 200€. The final enrollment period is from February 28, 2014 to April 20, 2014, during which the student will be expected to pay the remainder of the course fee (900€). The course will only take place if there is a minimum of 5 students pre-registered. If the course does not take place, students who have already paid will be refunded.

Course costs: 1,100€ (includes class hours, practicum, cultural activities and seminars)

Room and board at OVIDA:

  • Individual room and full board: 750€
  • Double room and full board: 590€



Students can complete the practicum either in the Central Asturias Teaching Hospital (Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias (HUCA) or in  OVIDA Intergenerational Center (Centro Intergeneracional). The Central Asturias Teaching Hospital (abbreviated in Spanish: HUCA) is a reference center for Spanish medicine. In the 1970s, the hospital launched the first MIR training program for internal medical residents (similar to the residency programs in the United States) that established a systematic process and protocols for medical specialization. Students take part in various training activities in collaboration with the University of Oviedo: university teaching, healthcare professional training and complementary training activities. It is a reference center in the following areas of medicine:

  • Applied neurophysiology / Functional neurosurgery
  • Cardiovascular surgery
  • Urology
  • Oncology
  • Treatments using stem cells
  • Transplants
  • Silicosis and respiratory diseases

The other location where students can complete the practicum is OVIDA Centro Intergeneracional (Intergenerational Center). OVIDA is an innovative medical residency center that combines the following installations:

  • Care Center: specialized social and health assistance for dependent geriatric clients
  • Apartment for seniors
  • Disability Unit: housing and professional assistance for young dependent clients
  • Preschool / daycare
  • Aparthotel (Apartments / Hotel)
  • University and MIR student residence
  • Language Institute
  • Center for Professional Training

OVIDA Centro Intergeneracional’s team of professional medical specialists associated with specialized care engage the students to allow them to practice what they are learning in their Intensive Spanish course for medical professionals at the University of Oviedo´s La Casa de las Lenguas. OVIDA  is comprised of the following medical specialists:

  • Medical specialists in geriatrics
  • Medical rehabilitation specialists
  • Technical health assistants
  • Auxiliary care nurses
  • Nursing supervisors
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers

For more information, contact:

Taresa Fernández Lorences (Deputy Director of La Casa de Las Lenguas):

Ashley Bennink:


About abennink

Spanish and English instructor, medical interpreter and health educator. My passion around healthcare, equality, languages and education motivates me to continually seek to develop my skills in each area while also designing ways to use each one to improve the others.
This entry was posted in Teaching Spanish to Medical Professionals and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to New intensive Spanish for healthcare professionals course

  1. Pingback: New Years Resolutions regarding Medical Spanish | Ayuda, doctor

  2. Pingback: Regular, Online, Intensive or Immersion: What type of course is best? | Ayuda, doctor

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