New Study Says Latina Doctors Face Backlash When They Decline Requests To Double As Translators
There’s no denying the fact that when it comes to health care, proper communication is essential. Beyond being able to communicate health history, ailments, and current states of health to physicians, patients should be able to do so whether or not they speak their health care providers’ language.
Of course, while the United States is filled with bilingual doctors, having professional translators in hospitals and health care facilities can be essential to communication.
Despite this, recent studies reveal that Latina doctors, in particular, are being able to take on the roles of professional translators.
According to a recent study published by Sage Journals, bilingual and bicultural Latina doctors were expected to perform Spanish/English translation work on a regular basis.
The study further revealed that when these doctors declined to do these tasks or explained that it was not part of their job, they were accused of being difficult to work with by their co-workers.
Prior studies have underlined that gender- and race-based discrimination often affects women’s advancement in medical fields than men.
According to Sage Journals, an analysis underscores three main points that factor into the different of treatment when it comes to Latina physicians. This includes: gendered cultural taxation, microaggressions from women nurses and staff and the questioning of authority and competence to elucidate how gendered racism manifests for Latina/o doctors.
“Taking demonstrations of gendered deference and demeanors are vital to transforming medical schools and creating more inclusive spaces for all physicians and patients,” the journal outlined. “Conclusions are based on experiences reported in interviews with 48 Latina/o physicians and observation in their places of work in Southern California.”
Users on Reddit were quick to chime in with their own experiences of asked to go beyond their job requirements and expertise. One user by the name of pettyprincesspeach2 noted how as a bilingual speaker, she was often asked to take on the task of translating which she felt ill-equipped to handle. and have 2 degrees in my second language. When I taught High School I was consistently asked to be a translator and I always told them no. It’s a job that requires specific certification that I do not have. Being bilingual definitely doesn’t mean you have translator skills. I wish more people understood that.”
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