Common Ground International Impacts Communities Through Language - Learn Spanish - Learn English - Spanish Immersion Trips - Translation

The leading Medical Spanish resource for the healthcare community is Common Ground International! Since 2001 we've been providing Spanish training and language services that help Spanish-only patients connect with their healthcare providers, understand their conditions and treatment options, and receive better quality care because the medical team they're working with can speak their language.

Medical Spanish products, classes and services:

Why learn medical Spanish?

Apart from the fact that it makes a huge difference in the lives of your Spanish only patients when you can connect with them in their language (even if you only know basic medical Spanish phrases), there are several other reasons to learn medical Spanish in Colorado (and across the USA):

  • You can physically see the sighs of relief when you use your medical Spanish with patients to establish a positive rapport and understand their situation.
  • You have more confidence and insight on patient conversations when you’re using your clinic or hospital interpreters when you know some basic medical Spanish and common medical Spanish phrases for high frequency ideas that you need to communicate.
  • Many nursing jobs prefer candidates with some level of bilingualism, and most nursing schools (in Colorado at least) don’t have space in their schedules to provide medical Spanish courses.
  • Common Ground’s Spanish teachers are extremely engaging and fun to learn medical Spanish with. Our classes are low-stress and high-impact.

FREE Medical Terminology and Learning Tools:

We regularly publish free downloads or sample lesson so that you can study Spanish for healthcare on your own. A lot of the emphasis is on proper vocabulary with these learning tools, but we also touch on useful and high frequency grammar activities for your use with Spanish-only patients. Check it out when you have a minute!

Medical Spanish Blog:

We write articles and language tips to help you navigate the responsible use of Spanish with your patients. Many of the blog posts take the form of language tidbits that are frequently asked questions and common mistakes that students make in our Spanish for healthcare classes.

Medical Spanish Books:

The best books and study resources for anyone in healthcare looking to learn Spanish. We have curated a list of resources that we approve of, and believe are useful to you as you endeavor to learn more Spanish for your clinical work with patients.

Medical Spanish Certification:

A new certification for the healthcare industry is coming soon. This bilingual certification for healthcare is sure to reduce costs an improve the quality of care that Spanish-only patients receive. This is an advanced level certification that blends Spanish linguistic competency with cultural savvy and the ability to do your clinical job in Spanish. This is a certification for clinical staff, not administrative staff.

Medical Spanish Classes (Face to Face):

See more info below…
Beginning to Advanced level medical Spanish classes offered in the Denver, CO area. We generally start classes in the months of September, January, April, & July. Each of these Spanish for healthcare courses are focused on teaching you essential clinical vocabulary at your current grammar level. Our goal isn’t that you would speak perfectly – we just want you to use Spanish responsibly in everyday medical and clinical settings.

Online medical Spanish classes:

See more info below…
Live-taught and pre-packaged online courses open for registration. Our live-taught online medical Spanish classes are taught by our instructors in Central America. Our pre-packaged courses are taught by our senior medical Spanish instructor, Rory Foster.

Medical Spanish Immersion Trips:

Open to medical professionals of all Spanish levels. We help you gain proficiency in Spanish while you give back to local communities in need. Immersion trips currently run 2 times a year in Central America (Nicaragua & Costa Rica): February-March and June-July. These are not clinically focused medical missions. Our focus is on language proficiency development while we deliver community and public health outreach to local communities in need.

University Elective Medical Spanish Courses:

Turnkey courses for universities and healthcare programs wanting to integrate Spanish for healthcare into their curriculum. These courses can be credit bearing or non credit bearing, pass/fail or graded courses. All of our faculty have graduate degrees in Spanish or a related healthcare field, and are more than equipped to become an integral component of your faculty.

Medical Spanish Immersion Trips

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Budget Traveler - Nicaragua*
Lowest Cost!
Spanish Immersion programs in Granada Nicaragua every January, February, June and July
Based in Granada

2-weeks total trip length

Currently paused due to political unrest
Host family, hotel, or hostel
20 hrs/week language school
Tuesday – Thursday medical outreach projects
Great day trips
Amazing beaches, active volcanoes, historical Lake Nicaragua
CME & CE Accredited
Interprofessional mix of fellow travelers
24/7 leadership, coordination & support by Common Ground program leaders
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Adventure Traveler - Ecuador
Newest Program
Adventure Traveler is Spanish immersion in Ecuador
Based in Quito & Cuenca

2-3 weeks in length

November 2, 2019
Host family, hotel, or hostel
20hrs/week Spanish Classes
Tuesday – Thursday medical outreach projects
Great day trips to the equator, hot springs, etc.
Optional Wilderness Medicine Course at Reserva Alto Coca
CME & CE Accredited
Interprofessional mix of fellow travelers
24/7 leadership, coordination & support by Common Ground program leaders

*All programs in Nicaragua are currently paused pending resolutions to political unrest. Contact Us if you would like to discuss.

Onsite Medical Spanish Classes in Colorado

Medical Spanish Placement Test: The perfect way to find out which course is best suited for your current Spanish level. This is an online placement test that assesses your knowledge of Spanish in everyday healthcare contexts (not necessarily your ability to speak), and your ability to express yourself in writing. We will the place you in the most appropriate Spanish for healthcare class that helps you learn at your level.

MedicalSpanish300x200These medical Spanish classes are perfect for Nurses, Doctors, PAs, PTs, Nutritionists, and other healthcare workers with a clinical focus who want to learn medical Spanish terminology.

In every class session you will practice common patient scenarios with other like-minded healthcare workers under the guidance of professional instructors trained in teaching Spanish as a second language.

A few quick notes about our Medical Spanish classes:

  • These classes are more than medical terminology courses. We teach your how to communicate in Spanish with your Spanish-only patients.
  • Most employers are reimbursing course tuition for these medical Spanish classes – don’t forget to ask your supervisor or employer!
  • A certificate of completion will be issued to every student who attends at least 75% of the class meetings
  • Nursing CEU credits are included at no additional cost!

See Open Classes & Register Today!

Read the medical Spanish course descriptions below to find the class that fits your level and format best! If you need help selecting the best level for you – take this Spanish placement test.

Medical Spanish Beginning 1

Beginning 1

Beginning 1 Medical Spanish in Denver & Aurora Colorado
4.95out of 5based on 21 customer ratings

Start using your new Spanish vocabulary after your first night of classes! This Beginning I Medical Spanish Class helps you learn medical Spanish basics; becoming comfortable with medical Spanish phrases and medical Spanish vocabulary. You will learn greetings and goodbyes, patient introductions, basic interview skills, common cold and flu symptoms, body parts, pain and injuries, vital signs, basic medical vocabulary, numbers, telling time and units of measure. A great place to start learning!

This Medical Spanish class is great for students who…

  • Have little or no experience with Spanish–OR
  • Aren’t currently using their Spanish because they have never been comfortable enough to try and use the Spanish language they know.
  • Know a little general Spanish, but would like to start learning Medical Spanish vocabulary and phrases.

I have learned an extensive amount of medical vocabulary. I feel that I can communicate with Spanish speaking patients. With simple conversations, I am now able to meet my patients’ needs without having to use the interpreter phone.

–Laura R, RN

Medical Spanish Beginning 2

Beginning 2

Beginning 2 Medical Spanish in Denver & Aurora Colorado
4.89out of 5based on 9 customer ratings

If you are beyond needing to learn basic medical Spanish, join the Beginning 2 class and take your Spanish to the next level! The Beginning II course is a continuation of Beginning I or a great place to start learning if you already have some experience with Spanish. We will bring you to a point of further knowledge and comfort with the Spanish language in the medical context. You will begin with a review of Beginning I material such as common cold and flu symptoms and how to talk about pain and body parts using present tense verbs. Then you will learn how to take a family medical history, give pharmacy and dosing instructions for common medications as well as explaining their possible side effects, and learn how to recommend lifestyle changes regarding diet and nutrition, including special diets for patients. You will review regular and irregular present tense verb conjugations, learn preterit tense verbs, and speaking about the future.

Great for students who…

  • Maybe have some high school experience with Spanish –OR-
  • Can get through a basic interaction with patients,but really need to focus on some grammar and specific medical vocabulary to help be more efficient.
  • Know the present tense and are able to use it, but get lost when it comes to past tense.
  • Completed Beginning I

The course was very laid back and non-intimidating which made it easy to ask questions. Also, the material that was covered was relevant to my profession.

–Gavin K, PharmD

Medical Spanish - Intermediate 1

Intermediate 1

Intermediate 1 Medical Spanish in Denver Colorado
5.00out of 5based on 6 customer ratings

Increase your Medical Spanish proficiency! The Intermediate I course is appropriate for students with some significant Spanish experience and if you’ve already been learning medical Spanish on the job or studying medical Spanish. We assume you are comfortable with present tense verbs, and have studied the past tense before. For the first few weeks we will review basic body parts and internal organs, symptoms and pain, the pharmacy (giving patient instructions and side effects), and diet and nutrition (recommending certain diets). You will then learn how to conduct a physical exam in Spanish, how to explain tests and procedures to patients, and how to take a detailed medical history. Grammar topics will include strengthening how you communicate in the past tense with patients, learning how to give commands, and learning how to use direct and indirect object pronouns.

Great for students who…

  • Are very comfortable with the present tense, are pretty comfortable with the past tense. Maybe had a few years in high school.
  • Currently speak Spanish as much as possible with your patients.
  • Want to focus on learning medical vocabulary & get a lot of time to practice in the classroom setting.
  • Completed Beginning II

I liked how the information was relevant and the interactions helped us learn the material better.”

–Kendra Z, MD

Medical Spanish - Intermediate 2

Intermediate 2

Intermediate Medical Spanish Semester Course
4.00out of 5based on 1 customer rating

You already speak medical Spanish relatively fluidly, but you need to fine tune your medical Spanish terminology! The Intermediate II course is a continuation of Intermediate I or a great place to start if you already feel comfortable with medical Spanish vocabulary and can speak Spanish well using present, past tense, and the command form of verbs. Course content will include a comprehensive review of medical vocabulary, patient interviewing skills, and verbs. You will focus in on topics such as the Physical Exam, learning how to take a complete Medical History, talking about hospitalizations, dentistry and mental health, as well as pediatrics and maternity. Grammar topics included are, an introduction to the subjunctive, using direct and indirect object pronouns, commands and the imperfect and preterit verb tenses. You will also have the opportunity to give a presentation in Spanish to the class about a specific topic that relates to your patients and/or specialization.

Great for students who…

  • Consider themselves very proficient with Spanish, but need to focus on more medical terminology
  • Currently use Spanish all the time with patients.
  • Want to focus on medical vocabulary & get a lot of time to practice in the classroom setting.
  • Completed Intermediate I

I loved this class. I had such a good time. Learning was pertinent and intriguing. I was able to apply what I was learning in the hospital.

–Sally W, RN

Medical Spanish Test Prep Icon FINAL

Medical Spanish Certification Prep Classes

Medical Spanish Certification Prep Course
5.00out of 5based on 5 customer ratings

The Medical Spanish Certification Prep class helps healthcare professionals and students prepare for medical Spanish competency testing. This course is intended to help you successfully pass your organization’s Qualified Bilingual Spanish or other 3rd party tests to verify language competency and the responsible use of Medical Spanish with patients. The course focuses heavily on proper medical terminology and professional tone in Spanish. This is not a formal healthcare interpreters training course – however we will be training you in accuracy for oral interpretation, written translations and sight translations. This is the right course for those who are wanting to gain medical Spanish “certification” or approval from their employer. Many students will receive bonuses from their employers for successfully passing their language competency testing. In this class you can expect to:

  • Improve your listening comprehension of native speakers
  • Increase your speed and improve your accuracy using high level grammar
  • Increase your accuracy when converting oral and written language
  • Expand your understanding of subtle nuances in general vocabulary and medical Spanish terminology
  • Expand your precision and accuracy with medical Spanish vocabulary in your everyday work contexts

My medical Spanish instructor was entertaining, patient, and explained things well. I really enjoyed the different learning activities.

–Jenna E, MD

Medical Spanish level icon_IntensiveIntensive Medical Spanish & Local Immersion Classes

A few different times a year, we offer intensive medical Spanish classes. These classes are usually similar in content to the medical Spanish classes described above, but packaged and delivered in an intensive format. Instead of meeting for 1.5 hours a week, these intensive medical Spanish classes will meet for extended periods of time, and often multiple days in a week. If we are actively registering any intensive medical Spanish classes, you will find them listed on our courses page.

A few of our standard intensive medical Spanish courses are:

Weekend intensive medical Spanish courses: These classes usually meet on Friday and Saturday (sometimes Sundays as well) for a total of 12 hours of class. These classes are the ideal format for bringing medical Spanish classes to your community that is located outside of the Denver Metro area. If you’d like to invite Common Ground to teach a weekend intensive medical Spanish class in your community, we’d be happy to work with you! Please Contact Us to get the process started.

Local medical Spanish immersion courses: Since 2008 Common Ground has been offering local Medical Spanish immersion courses to healthcare students who are unable to travel on our international rotations in Costa Rica. These local immersion rotations include intensive medical Spanish classes and precepted local clinical placements that guarantee Spanish speaking patients. While these are “for credit” courses though local healthcare training programs, the class portion is open to public registration. We usually meet for 3-4 hours several mornings a week for the course of a month.

Please see the Our Courses Page for any medical Spanish intensives that are currently open to the public for registration.

It was fun to show up and use my right brain! The class was very conversational- different than any other Spanish course I have taken.

–Aubrey B, PA-C

Medical Spanish - Interpreter Training

Introduction to Interpreting Spanish in Healthcare

Spanish Medical Interpreter Training
5.00out of 5based on 3 customer ratings

This interpreter training course has 2 primary objectives – to help students prepare for the nationally recognized Bridging the Gap interpreter training course and to help students prepare for the national certification as a Spanish interpreter in healthcare.

In this medical Spanish interpreter training course you will:

  • Refine your Spanish medical terminology and the English equivalents needed for precise interpreting
  • Refine your tone and register levels in Spanish & English to ensure that you’re communicating appropriately with varied audiences
  • Learn concentration and memorization tricks to interpret with higher accuracy
  • Practice interpreting Spanish in a variety of common clinical and customer service scenarios to gain confidence as a Spanish interpreter in healthcare
  • Learn and commit to abide by the national standards of practice for interpreting in healthcare
  • Learn and commit to abide by the national code of ethics for interpreting in healthcare

Please see the Our Courses Page for any medical Spanish interpreter training courses that are currently open to the public for registration.

Btw: If you’re working on learning Spanish for your healthcare career, we have the medical Spanish you need!

Onsite Courses Open for Registration

FAQs – Medical Spanish Classes in Colorado

Do I have to start at the Beginning I level of Medical Spanish courses if I already know some Spanish?
No, and actually we don’t advise that you take a class lower than your grammar and communication ability. Even if your medical Spanish vocabulary is weak, we suggest that you start with a level that is better suited to your grammar and conversational ability. If you need help figuring our your level as it relates to our courses, take this placement test and we’ll give you our recommendation.
How do I know which level of Medical Spanish course is the best for me?
Review our course descriptions found on this Medical Spanish page, and that should help. If you’re still uncertain about what course is best for you, take this placement test and we’ll give you our recommendation.
Are there any tests in these medical Spanish classes?
Not usually. Sometimes when we’re offering a medical Spanish class for a university program there are some quizzes in the class for grading purposes, but there is no nasty final to worry about.
What if my schedule changes and I can't finish the medical Spanish course?
Not a problem. We are happy to transfer your registration (or a pro-rated amount of your registration) to another course. In this case, there is just a $25 transfer fee to postpone and transfer your registration. If another night of the week works better for you within the same session as your original registration, we can just switch you into that other class at no additional cost or fees. We don’t offer refunds for your registration in most circumstances. However, if you have an extenuating circumstance, feel free to give us a call and we’ll work out a fair solution with you.
Is there university credit offered for these medical Spanish courses?
There is if you’re a university student, and your program has contracted directly with us to offer you an elective medical Spanish course. Most of our public medical Spanish classes are not university accredited. However, they are all CEU accredited for nurses and the Beginning I and Beginning II level courses are typically CME accredited for MD’s, PA’s and NP’s (additional fees apply).
Can you host your medical Spanish courses at my hospital/clinic?
Absolutely, all we need to do is arrange room space through the appropriate channels at your healthcare facility, and we’ll work with you to help spread the word amongst your co-workers to get a Medical Spanish class started.
Do your medical Spanish courses certify me to be an interpreter
No, and you’ll actually sign a student agreement that states you understand that these regularly scheduled Medical Spanish courses are not interpreter training courses. Our courses are meant to be communicative in nature, and help you establish a better working relationship with your patients. That being said, medical Spanish interpreting is a completely different field, which still uses Spanish of course, but requires a very different skill set. Most local hospitals have a department in place for its interpreters and have their own standards for what it takes to become an interpreter at that location. Speak with your HR department about your interpreting goals if you’re interested in becoming a Medical Spanish interpreter. We’ll of course be happy to help you improve your Spanish toward that goal, but being an interpreter requires much more professional skill and knowledge than just being bilingual.
I want to take an upcoming Medical Spanish class, but I can’t afford the full payment up front, can I break up my payments to you?
Of course! We ask that at a minimum you make a $100 deposit to reserve your space in an upcoming class. We’re happy to work out a payment plan with you for the remaining balance that fits your work and paycheck schedule. Unfortunately the online registration system doesn’t allow you to make partial payments…so just call the office and we’ll work with you (303) 684-5557.
I can’t take a Medical Spanish class now, but I want to make sure that I keep receiving your information about upcoming courses, how can I get on your mailing list?
Easy, fill out this form here and we’ll loop you into our medical Spanish communications…
Would you ever consider customizing a Medical Spanish course for a particular specialty?
Of course, we customize Medical Spanish courses all the time for groups of healthcare workers that all work in the same field. Give us a call, and we’ll work with you to tailor a Medical Spanish course that fits your needs and current Spanish level specifically.
When is your next medical Spanish session in Colorado?
Typically we offer semester courses in the fall and spring semesters. We also offer 8-week courses in the fall and spring. The fall session is usually mid September – mid November. The spring session is early March – late April. Contact us if you’d like to be added to our email list and receive regular class schedule updates!

Common Ground’s Medical Spanish classes are accredited for nursing CE credit on a per-hour basis. Students must attend at a minimum 75% of the course to receive a certificate and related Continuing Education credit. Additional fees apply if requesting CME credit, and request must be made upon registration. Usual Class Locations: University of Colorado (Anschutz Medical Campus), Denver Health Medical Center, The Medical Center of Aurora, Littleton Adventist Hospital, Swedish Medical Center, Presbyterian St Lukes Medical Center, Lakewood Kaiser Permanente, Rock Creek Kaiser Permanente, Community Hospital (Grand Junction), Medical Center of the Rockies (Loveland).

Online Medical Spanish Courses

Online Courses Open for Registration

Recent Medical Spanish Blog Posts

Discussing Headaches in Spanish

Video Viernes – Discussing Headaches in Spanish

This Video Viernes lesson focuses on discussing headaches in Spanish: el dolor de cabeza. In this lesson, we’re discussing stress headaches, migraines, cluster headaches, sinus pain, strokes, concussions and vision problems. For each cause of headaches, I’m sharing a basic description in Spanish and some simple tests and procedures. Here is the Headaches…

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Assessing Child Abuse and Neglect in Spanish

Video Viernes – Questions and Phrases to Assess Child Abuse and Neglect in Spanish

This Video Viernes lesson focuses on learning how assess child abuse and neglect in Spanish. This is a delicate topic requested by a community member who wanted to know the best vocabulary to talk about child abuse and neglect in Spanish with Spanish speaking parents (and children) in a respectful way that…

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Chest pain in Spanish

Video Viernes – How To Talk About and Evaluate Chest Pain in Spanish

This Video Viernes lesson focuses on talking about and evaluating chest pain in Spanish: el dolor de pecho. Here is the Medical Spanish lesson I taught to the Facebook group: Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to see all of our lessons and get the latest videos right away! Download Chest Pain in Spanish Notes TODAY…

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Latino Culture and Natural Medicines

Latino Culture & Healthcare: Natural Medicines, Home Remedies & Alternative Treatments

This is the last topic related to Latino Culture & Healthcare. In this case doña Sandra and I were talking about natural medicines, home remedies & alternative treatments some Latino patients tend to take while getting medical attention. In general, the rule of thumb with alternative medicine is to recognize their use, assess whether…

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Latino Culture Time and Space

Latino Culture & Healthcare: Allowing Enough Time and Space for your Latino Patients

This is the fourth topic related to Latino Culture & Healthcare. In this case doña Sandra and I were talking about allowing enough time and space for your Latino patients to build a positive rapport with you… Some of the questions that doña Sandra addressed in this conversation are: How important is it…

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Religion and Latino Patients

Latino Culture & Healthcare: The Influence of Religion and Faith with your Latino Patients

This is the third topic related to Latino Culture & Healthcare that I discussed with doña Sandra while on Spanish Immersion in Costa Rica. Faith and Religion may play a more important role in the perspective of your Latino Patient than you might expect. In this video, Sandra and I discuss different…

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