Skip to main content


Introduction to Care of Hispanic/Latino Patients

Introduction to Hispanic/Latino Patient Care is the core course for the Care of Hispanic/Latino Patients scholarly concentration. It addresses three components: cultural competency; special issues in communication; and medical Spanish fluency. This is a content-based intermediate-level Spanish course focused on developing students’ listening and speaking abilities through the acquisition of specialized medical vocabulary and other concepts regarding patient communication. The course consists of online modules and small group sessions (in-person and remote available) to discuss the online modules and practice medical Spanish. Not only will students have the opportunity to practice their oral skills, but also learn about and discuss the demographic component, cultural background, and health practices of the Hispanic population in the United States. In order to take full advantage of this course, students will be required to demonstrate an intermediate level of proficiency in Spanish.

Course Director: Cecilia Tenorio, M.A
Phone: 765-494-3842
Primary contact for Adds/Drops: Donna Fulkerson;
Home campus: West Lafayette
Type of course: On-site, although remote will be available

Learning objectives:
By the end of this course, a student will:

  1. recognize and apply a broad range of medical and health-related
    vocabulary in Spanish. (ISC3)
  2. communicate in Spanish with patients and patients' families about patients’
    medical histories, symptoms and concerns. (ISC2)
  3. discuss the cultural and ethnic background of Hispanic residents, that may
    affect the health care delivery to that population sector. (SBP2)
  4. be able to communicate the limits and responsibilities of the use of
    Spanish in their professional careers. (SBP2)

Course activities:
Students will be required to complete online modules on vocabulary,communication, and cultural competency in providing care for Hispanic/Latino patients. These can be reviewed at the students own pace, but topics will be assigned for discussion during scheduled recitation sessions. The main purpose of the recitation sessions will be verbal communication practice. These sessions will be scheduled for 1 hour three twice a month and be conducted in Spanish with a faculty member from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, School of Languages and Culture, at Purdue University who specializes in Spanish for medical professionals. While the focus of these sessions is verbal language development, discussions will focus on topics covered in the online modules. No more than one contact hour per week will be scheduled during the semester.

Time distribution: 67% online; 33% lecture/seminar Small group sessions meet for 3 hours/month for 10 months; not more than 1 hour/week.

Assessments: 50% Satisfactory participation in recitation sessions as demonstrated by active participation, oral presentation, and contribution to oral discussion, as assessed by faculty observation, including attendance at >80% of recitation sessions. 50% Completion of all online modules with online assessments; the student must receive a score of 75% or greater on each module including quizzes or written submissions.

Prerequisites: Scholarly Concentration enrollment; Spanish language proficiency: Intermediate proficiency in Spanish. Completion 300 level college course. Proficiency equivalent to ACTFL proficiency benchmarks - Intermediate (American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages) - CERFL – B1/B2 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)
Interprofessional collaboration: In the future there will be opportunities to work with other health professions.

Latino Community Health Status

Students will undertake studies and educational experiences to explore and understand Latino community health issues, community impact, and relevant/available data. A list of readings will be provided for particular areas of community health indicators including mental health, teenage pregnancy, and substance abuse, among others. Students will concentrate on one of these areas, initially through readings.

Course Director: Ray Munguia-Vazquez, MD, MSc, PhD
Phone: 765-496-6008
Primary contact for Adds/Drops: Cresta Cates,
Home campus: West Lafayette
Type of course: On-site

Learning objectives:
By the end of this course, a student will:

  1. Evaluate the impact of a patient’s social context in health and disease and how factors, such as culture, socioeconomic status, environment, religion, spirituality, sexuality, education and health literacy impact patient physician interactions, health care decision-making, and health outcomes.(SBP2)
  2. Incorporate health promotion and patient education on the basis of the patient’s or population’s needs. (PC4)
  3. Engage in self-directed learning by identifying gaps and limitations in current knowledge and performance; setting individual learning and improvement goals; identifying multiple information resources to achieve those goals; critically appraising the quality and credibility of information resources used; and synthesizing relevant information to advance knowledge and patient care. (PBLI1)

Course activities:
Students will spend approximately 40 hours over 2 semesters during P1Y2 on self-directed learning, and other educational activities that will include discussions with course faculty, identifying a topic of interest, a thorough literature search, and critical analysis of existing knowledge. Students will create a learning module or presentation designed to promote and convey Latino community health issues and its underlying evidence to relevant audiences including students in the health professions and primary care health providers. Students will submit regular assignments during their learning module and experiences; and will receive feedback, which they will use to guide their subsequent work. At the conclusion, students will deliver a short seminar based on their completed learning module. Students will attend seminars of their classmates, participate in follow-up discussion, and give constructive feedback.

Time distribution:

40% laboratory or scholarly research; 40% lecture/seminar; 10% library research; 10% online


Faculty will use the Professional Development Evaluation Form to evaluate the student’s overall performance in the course. Assignments submitted during learning module development: topic selection and rationale, selection of sources, content outline, preliminary module (credit will be given for submission and incorporating feedback), creation of learning module on Latino Community Health status (evaluated using Presentation Grading Rubric), delivery of seminar based on learning module (evaluated using Presentation Grading Rubric), participation in discussion and providing constructive feedback at seminars of classmates or other assigned seminars (credit will be given for constructive participation).


  • Scholarly Concentration enrollment
  • Spanish language proficiency: Intermediate proficiency in Spanish. Completion 300 level college course.