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Medical Spanish Elective Courses for Healthcare Programs

Since 2001 our medical Spanish elective courses have helped healthcare students gain Spanish as a practical skill.

Speaking Spanish responsibly enough to connect with your patients is a practical skill in today’s healthcare environment.

Even if it’s just to connect with your patients and build rapport (and then invite professional interpreters to assist) the patient relationship and health outcomes improve as providers and staff speak more Spanish.

Unfortunately, many Spanish departments on campus and interpreting departments in the hospital are unable to provide great courses

Teaching targeted medical Spanish electives is not usually the strength of most Spanish departments.

And interpreters who work at the hospital are usually fantastic linguists – but not necessarily skilled Spanish teachers.

medical spanish elective courses for universities and residency programs

Why Choose Common Ground for your Medical Spanish Elective?

We solved the curriculum problem:

Specialized language curriculum is difficult to develop.

The language department on campus (or the interpreting department at your hospital) probably doesn’t have a champion for your cause; and even if they do, there usually isn’t budget to allocate toward custom curriculum development.

We’ve been doing this so long, we know what curriculum works and we’re happy to customize to meet your needs.

We pioneered the perspective shift:

Your students & residents need Spanish elective courses that are targeted for their work with patients.

We call this “functional fluency” in Spanish.

The idea that you can learn professional language without knowing some ancillary basics is difficult for the traditional professor or highly skilled interpreter to grasp and truly embrace.

We know how to do it. It’s been our specialty since 2001.

We eliminate red tape obstacles:

For a reasonable guest lecturer or associate professor fee, we provide you with the syllabus, the asynchronous course content, and the synchronous course practice sessions.

All you need to do is get course approval on your end, decide if you want it to be credit-bearing or not, and assign a course director for registration logistics.

We take care of the rest!

What Medical Spanish Electives Does Common Ground Offer?

We have electives for a variety of programs and specialties.


Healthcare Spanish classes for nurses and nursing students.

Scheduling has always been the most difficult aspect of implementing medical Spanish courses for our nursing program clients. But with the hybrid (asynchronous and synchronous) online course model, it’s a cinch!

Learn more about semester course options below


Spanish for pharmacists courses ensure that students communicate medication instructions clearly and provide relevant medication counseling in Spanish

We currently offer Beginning and intermediate Spanish for Pharmacists courses.

Learn more about semester course options below


Medical Spanish electives for Medical Students, PA students, and nurse practitioner students in all phases of training.

Whether you represent a Medical School, PA program, or APN program, we’re happy to work with you and offer you Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced level elective medical Spanish courses.

Learn more about semester course options and month-long rotation options below


Medical Spanish for residents and residency programs.

Elective courses for residents and residency programs can take several forms. We currently work with Family Practice residency programs and OB/GYN residency programs.

In order to meet the demands of residency schedules, we offer several flexible ways to learn:

week – long intensives: during residency orientation week.

monthly: lunch and learn classes or extended conversational courses.

8-week courses: throughout the year to boost speaking and comprehension skills.

International Electives

Travel and medical Spanish immersion is the best way to improve your Spanish.

Since we began offering international medical Spanish elective courses for healthcare students in 2003, no experience has been more effective than immersing students in Latin American culture and 24/7 Spanish language.

The rotation includes community health outreach and education projects, intensive Spanish classes & local host family lodging.

Learn more here

Semester Elective Medical Spanish Course Offerings combine a few primary elements:

The great aspect of these semester courses is that you just need to get the courses approved through your curriculum committee. Once we get a MOU established, we take care of the rest!

We’ll do the day to day work like:

  1. Guide you through sorting your students into the appropriate levels
  2. Handle all student communications throughout the semester
  3. Facilitate the live practice sessions
  4. Assess the students throughout the semester
  5. Submit final grades for you to record
15-week or 8-week courses

Fall and spring semesters follow the regular 15-week course schedule.

If you prefer to offer an intensive summer course, we package it into an 8-week course offering

Evaluate and create your student groups

Every student comes to your program with a different level of Spanish experience. Some students will have very little exposure, others will have a lot of Spanish language background. We run your students through a placement test to sort them into levels and provide you with class group recommendations.

Asynchronous online learning

One of the many advantages of putting our curriculum online has been allowing students to learn on their own time and at their own pace throughout the week.

Students in our elective courses love the flexibility of learning the material on their own time, in their own space, and not having to attend a class on campus. Furthermore the 24/7 availability of course content allows for ample review and re-learning time.

Synchronous online practice sessions

Great language courses are run like engaging science classes. It’s a combination of active learning and hands-on practice.

In your science classes, it’s lecture and lab – in our medical Spanish elective courses, it’s asynchronous lessons and synchronous practice sessions.

You have to practice speaking in order to get comfortable speaking. The synchronous practice sessions are the cornerstone of our courses.

Month-long clinical Medical Spanish Combo Courses (best as an intermediate and advanced-level elective course)

Clinical placements with Spanish-speaking preceptors

This sort of elective is considered a rotation. Your experiential education coordinator would schedule students on this rotation in clinical placements in your community that give students a chance to work with Spanish speaking patients.

We also suggest that you consider assigning your students to 1/2 day shifts of shadowing hospital interpreters for additional Spanish exposure.

Asynchronous intermediate and advanced online learning

During the 4-week rotation, we open two lessons per week. These lessons contain 3-4 topics each, and will require at least 1/2 day to work through. At this intermediate and advanced level, we put heavy emphasis on precise clinical vocabulary, listening comprehension of native speakers, and more advanced grammar topics to support subtleties in communication.

On asynchronous lesson days, we suggest you only schedule your students for 1/2 day of clinic.

Synchronous conversational practice sessions

Conversational practice is essential for solidifying your students’ abilities to speak fluidly, comfortably and confidently.

We recommend 1.5 – 2hr synchronous practice sessions 3x/week. Sessions can be scheduled in the morning block or afternoon block.

On these synchronous practice session days, we recommend 1/2 day of clinic as well.

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