Beginning this year, the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso Office of Diversity Affairs launched a new initiative that would provide medical students and residents with a venue where they could enhance their conversational Spanish skills. Faculty and staff, who have been enthusiastic and committed to this venture, were recruited to serve as group facilitators. Every Tuesday, two groups of “students” and teachers meet for lunch – courtesy of the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology – at the Medical Education Building for food and bilingual conversation.
Since its inception, participants have been extremely receptive and have provided positive feedback to the organizers. First-year medical student Jerry Fan commented, “Spanish Lab was vital for me because coming to El Paso, I knew absolutely no Spanish. It’s a very good opportunity to supplement your medical Spanish with conversational Spanish. I would highly recommend this to anyone that wants to make an impact in the health care of El Paso.”
Facilitators have also found this experience beneficial. “In the end, I know I will end up helping somebody else someday, by serving as a facilitator for the Spanish Lab,” said facilitator Jaime Huerta. “The Spanish Lab has several purposes, and serves not only the medical student and the facilitator, but also the border community,” said facilitator Pilar Provencio. “Medical students participating in the Spanish Lab will be more in tune with the characteristics of our culture.”
If you are interested in joining the Spanish Lab as either a participant or a facilitator, please contact Mayra Morales at 783-6213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.