MED-1 (T, 1:45-2:30pm) - ALL LEVELS
The Third Side of the Triangle: Provider Impact on the Quality of Medical Interpretation
Cynthia E. Roat, MPH, Cross-Cultural Health Care Program, Seattle, Washington

In the emerging field of medical interpretation, discussions about the quality of interpretation have recently focused on the training and certification of interpreters. Less attention has been paid to the role that providers and administrators play in either supporting or undermining effective clinical interpretation. This presentation will focus on the impact of provider behavior and administrative policy on the quality of interpretation. It will include a discussion on standards of practice and standards for the training of providers working with interpreters, and models of provision of language services.

(T, 2:30-3:15pm) - ALL LEVELS
The Translators Dilemma: Communicating Medical Terminology in Amharic, Tigrigna, and Somali
Clancy J. Clark, research associate and coordinator of translation services, The Cross Cultural Health Care Program, Seattle, Washington

Medical interpreter service programs across the U.S. are witnessing an increased need for trained interpreters for refugee and recent immigrant communities. Recognizing these trends, the Cross Cultural Health Care Program recently developed and translated a medical glossary into Amharic, Somali, and Tigrigna. This presentation will discuss the challenge of translating medical terminology commonly used during the patient-provider encounter when direct linguistic equivalents do not exist, and how translators overcame this challenge. In addition, there will be a discussion of how these medical glossaries accommodated the high percentage of medical terms without direct linguistic equivalents, and the broader implications of such translations for other languages with similarly limited equivalency.

MED-2 (S, 8:30-9:15am) - INTERMEDIATE
Assessment of Subject Difficulty as a Guide to Skill Level and Fee Calculation
Leon McMorrow, freelance medical translator, Austin, Texas

The ability to assess the difficulty of a particular job is one of the "trade secrets" that is developed unconsciously with experience. It is very useful in accepting/declining jobs, determining readiness for the ATA accreditation examination, negotiation for the best price with a client, and especially for self-esteem and professional reputation. But how does one develop this ability? Is it possible to attach "markers" to translation or interpretation topics that may objectively classify jobs by the grade of difficulty? The field of medical documentation does include some objective markers or criteria that give adequate, if not perfect, clues to the difficulty that may be expected. Samples will be analyzed during this session.

(S, 9:15-10:00am) - INTERMEDIATE
What Medical Translators/Interpreters Need to Know about Arthritis
Michael Blumenthal, co-founder and director, M & M Translations, Inc., Buda, Texas

Although over 100 different diseases affect joints, there are only two general categories: autoimmune diseases and cartilage disorders. Two specific diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, are the most common. Approximately one percent of all living beings suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Almost 100 percent of people over 40 show some pathological changes due to osteoarthritis. The translation of medical reports of patients suffering from these two pathologies requires knowledge of anatomy and physiology, diagnostic testing, pharmacological treatments, and surgical repair. These two conditions will be discussed using examples from sample texts. Spanish/English glossaries of terminology, pharmacological agents, and abbreviations will be provided.

MED-3 (S, 3:30-4:15pm) - ALL LEVELS
Adventures of an American-born "Foreign Language" Medical Interpreter
Cornelia E. Brown, director of the Multicultural Association of Medical Interpreters (MAMI) of Central New York, and scholar in residence, Hamilton College, Clinton, New York

Can an individual neither born nor raised in the country of her clients be an effective medical interpreter? Do adequate substitutes exist for first-hand, life-long experience of a client's home country medical system, culture, and language? Many obstacles typically arise for a U.S.-born trainee trying to become a good medical interpreter: problems of language ability, cultural knowledge, and mutual trust between interpreter and client. Granted, such an interpreter will negotiate our health care system with relative ease, but is this facility enough to overcome other obstacles? Some agencies and hospital departments refuse to hire non-native speakers as their medical interpreters; others totally disagree with this policy. What arguments seem best? Do they relate to all kinds of interpreting or particularly to medical? Do they hold equally for all languages? I will speak from my own experience as an American-born Russian interpreter and from the experiences of other individuals and agencies working in a variety of languages, trying to build bridges into cultures not originally theirs.



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