As a physician, being able to communicate well with my patients and their family members is essential. During a visit, patients communicate how they are feeling, what symptoms they may have and how you can potentially help. However, it’s not uncommon to encounter patients whose native language isn’t English. That’s why in today’s multicultural world, being a bilingual physician helps me connect more directly.
There are so many benefits to being bilingual but here are my top 3:
- I am able to form deeper personal connections. One of the advantages of having a primary care doctor that can communicate in your native language is the opportunity to better connect with your doctor in a more meaningful way; therefore, helping to provide a more comfortable experience.
- I can have a better understanding of the patient’s needs. Having a primary care doctor who is fluent in your native language can also help to provide culturally specific care by being sensitive and responsive to your cultural beliefs and traditions.
- We can form a stronger doctor-patient relationship. Being able to communicate with your doctor in a private and personal setting without the use of a third-party translator enhances the relationship by removing barriers to care.