Improving healthcare for all people of the Bay Islands

International Medical Spanish Elective


Our course provides a broad learning experience, combining great opportunities to learn from:

Clinical Instruction: Participants are actively involved in evaluating and managing the hundreds of patients the clinic helps each week

Depending on the education level, an active role will be taken with the patients’ care after the first day or two.

High-quality didactics: Participants work alongside our attending physicians and also participate in case/topic-based conferences each week

Spanish Language Education: Both clinical and non-clinical instruction in Spanish is provided, in addition to educational opportunities throughout the island.

Each participant is asked to purchase the book Relatively Painless Medical Spanish, about $20 on Amazon. It is expected that one has an elementary understanding of Spanish and can converse some with others. The text is a workbook which one will be expected to complete 6-10 pages daily outside clinic hours. There will be people in the clinic to assist with interpretation and questions. It is expected that at the end of the rotation one will have the ability to complete a medical history in Spanish.  Please note that all is dependent on your assertiveness with the language. Please ask if you need further information.  This is not a live-in opportunity with a Spanish speaking family but could be arranged if desired. You may contact the volunteer coordinator for more details if interested. (

Community Outreach: Participants will be involved in outreach projects the clinic organizes in the greater community to increase health education and awareness. It is expected that all participants will spend two hours weekly or more volunteering in a project outside the clinic hours. This is to enrich your experience on the Island.

We promote trust, collaboration, and open communication to help create a positive community that maximizes the potential of all individuals. We strive to create an environment where problem-solving and feedback are encouraged and valued. We recognize the invaluable contribution of our volunteers; whose dedication, support and commitment make our work possible.

Volunteers are expected to perform their duties on a regular schedule and in a timely basis. If any changes to this schedule occur volunteers must inform the head nurse or volunteer coordinator with as much notice as possible so that arrangement can be made to maintain the regular function of the clinic.

We recommend wearing closes-toed shoes, long pants, and T-shirts (provided) by the clinic or scrubs with name tags (provided by the clinic).

We recommend for you to bring a bottle of water, use sunscreen and insect repellent to prevent dehydration, sunburn and insects bites.

We ask for volunteers, during their visits to the community, provide a respectful working environment where all patient are treated with consideration, tolerance, and dignity.

REMEMBER your work strengthens our impact on communities, helps build this relationship and creates memories we all share.

Program Objectives:

  • Acquiring and improving upon diagnostic and treatment expertise in a resource-poor community
  • Sharpening clinical exam and history taking skills
  • Learning how to practice medicine in a resource-poor environment
  • Becoming proficient in Spanish, specifically as it pertains to the medical H&P
  • Learning about a new culture and how healthcare extends beyond the exam room

Space is limited to 10 participants.

The cost for this elective is included in the required minimum donation of $750. Please mark “yes” on your volunteer application to indicate that you are participating in this elective. The application is the same for all our volunteer programs. Medical professionals not paying the minimum donation of $750 are welcome to join this program at a fee of $250 per month. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at

For a printable synopsis of this pages information use theInternational Medical Spanish Elective Brochure,