University of Nebraska Medical Center

Immersion Individual Spanish Language Learning Opportunities Track

Immersion individual Spanish language learning opportunities are available through the Pediatric Global Health Track.

The Hispanic population in Nebraska, currently at 12-13% across the state, is set to represent more than 20% of the population by 2040, making it the largest minority population in Nebraska. And while many health centers throughout the state have access to live or phone interpreters to serve this growing population, the need for health care professionals who can speak Spanish remains high.

Spanish Individualized

With the pandemic-imposed restriction, our Pediatric Residency Global Health Track developed in collaboration with the UNMC Office of Global Engagement and the University of Anáhuac Veracruz (UAV) in Xalapa, Mexico, a virtual intensive individualized Spanish instruction, SÍ! (Spanish Individualized) that is tailored to the individual trainees Spanish language skills. Instructions is for 6 hours per day, 5 days per week, for 3 weeks. Instruction was provided by the UAV linguistics faculty, under the direction of Maestra Rocío Ríos Rojas. In addition to the intensive Spanish language instruction, trainees received virtual lectures on culture, contrast between the US and Mexican health care, and get to practice conducting patient interviews through practical experiences incorporated into the curriculum. In person intensive Spanish instruction in Mexico has resumed, however, the virtual option will remain to accommodate trainees that cannot travel.

UNMC Pediatric Global Health Track Pediatric and Med-Peds Residents
  • Placement test prior to program initiation to assess Spanish level
  • Total 90 hours of instruction over the course of 3 weeks with 6 hour/day individualized Spanish program
  • Residents have to complete a Peds residency global health track curriculum to participate in this program.
  • Program only available to 2, 3 & 4 year pediatrics or med-peds residents.
  • This experience counts as a no overnight call pediatric residency elective.
  • Course cost covered by the Pediatric Residency Global Health track.
UNMC Pediatric Global Health Track Fellows

The following is a sample schedule for Pediatric Hospital Medicine Fellow. It can be tailored to other fellowships.

  • Placement test prior to program initiation to assess Spanish level
  • Individualized Spanish learning program over 2 years to achieve B2 fluency to be able to see patients individually without interpreters.
  • Course alternates regular and intensive instruction
    • Regular individualized Spanish instruction throughout the year for 2-4 hours a week based on how intense clinical rotations for fellowship training are.
    • Includes 2 options of intensive immersion individualized Spanish
      • Year 1: 3 weeks virtual, intensive, and individualized in Omaha
      • Year 2: 4 weeks in person, based on COVID-19 pandemic, in Xalapa that will include 3 weeks of intensive 6 hour/day individualized Spanish. Accommodations include living with a local family and additional week will be shadowing in healthcare facility in Veracruz (Xalapa or Córdoba if not fluent) or Panamá or Colombia (if fellow has achieved sufficient Spanish fluency).
  • Course cost covered by the Pediatric Residency Global Health track for current track participants.


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