facebook pixel Skip to Main Content
Idaho State University home

Medical Spanish Opportunities


Hispanic Health Track

Spanish is the most common second language in Idaho and in the United States. Hispanic families represent 40% of Idaho’s rural population growth. Hispanics are the backbone of Idaho’s rural economy, but often cannot access healthcare due to the barrier of language.

The Hispanic Health Track (HHT) aims to train PAs who can provide care directly to Spanish speaking patients. We also provide students with opportunities to develop competency in delivering interpreter facilitated care to diverse populations with Limited English Proficiency (LEP).

What’s in It for You?

Focused Certificate and Specialized Spanish Instruction: All HHT students complete the Graduate Certificate in Spanish for Health Professions. HHT students receive individualized placement and advising, take medical Spanish coursework aligned with your DY program curriculum, complete a week-long immersion stay in Puerto Rico, receive training in working with interpreters, and have the opportunity to become a qualified Spanish English interpreter in Idaho.

Expanded Telemedicine Experience with Spanish-Speaking Standardized Patients (SPs): Learn how to bridge the distance by working with Spanish-speaking mock-patients in a virtual environment.

Experience Working with Interpreters: HHT students receive training in working with interpreters to better serve diverse populations with LEP, including refugees in Idaho.  ­­­­­

Longitudinal Rotations at Hispanic Serving Sites: Serve back-to-back rotations in one of our Hispanic-serving clinic partners to gain primary care experience working with Spanish-speaking communities.­­­­­

Graduate Certificate in Spanish for Health Professions (15 credits)

The Department of Global Studies and Languages has a hybrid graduate certificate in Spanish for the Health Professions (SHP). PA students may take individual SHP courses or pursue the graduate certificate. Dr. Cathleen Tarp, director of the SHP program, has a joint appointment with the Department of Global Studies and Languages and the PA program. She teaches regularly scheduled Spanish courses for PA students during the didactic year as well as other Spanish coursework in the languages department.

PA students are able to earn the graduate certificate by completing 15 credits from two areas of core instruction: language (minimum of 9 credits) and culture (minimum of 6 credits).

 For more information, please visit the Course Catalog for the Department of Global Studies and Languages.

Access to individual Spanish for Health Professions courses

Those students that are not a part of the Latino Health Track are able to take individual SHP courses and take medical Spanish classes that are offered during the didactic year as electives or pursue the graduate certificate on their own.

International Rotation and Medical Mission experiences

In addition to courses and the graduate certificate, PA students are eligible to participate in two short-term medical mission trips to Spanish-speaking countries—the Dominican Republic and Peru—and there are opportunities to complete international clinical rotations in Belize and Guatemala. These international experiences are strictly voluntary. International clinical rotations may only satisfy a student's Elective rotation. Students can receive academic credits toward the graduate certificate.

Kasiska Division of Health Sciences - Learn more about the Kasiska family legacy and impact