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Open AccessOpinion

Challenges in Caring for Linguistic Minorities in the Pediatric Population

1
Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine, University of Colorado, Anschutz Cancer Pavilion Building, 3rd Floor, 1665 Aurora Court, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
2
Department of Pediatrics, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, 225 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
3
Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, 8080 N. Stadium Drive, Houston, TX 77054, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Children 2019, 6(8), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/children6080087
Received: 10 June 2019 / Revised: 22 July 2019 / Accepted: 22 July 2019 / Published: 25 July 2019
Physicians in the United States (U.S.) face unique obstacles in providing care for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP), especially speakers of rare languages. Lack of professional resources is not a problem exclusive to health care delivery, with speakers of Mayan dialects receiving increasingly narrow representation in detention centers and immigration courts at the U.S.–Mexico border. Parent-child dynamics and other crucial information related to pediatric care may be lost in translation in the event of inadequate interpreter services. Several strategies could address disparities in medical care faced by persons with LEP, speaking rare as well as more common languages. These include increasing the availability of professional interpreters via expanded and/or incentivized training programs, providing focused education in interpreter services for medical students, and unifying interpretation services provided by local consulates and nonprofit agencies for both medical and legal purposes. View Full-Text
Keywords: limited English proficiency (LEP); linguistic minorities; medical interpreters; immigrants; refugees; Mayan limited English proficiency (LEP); linguistic minorities; medical interpreters; immigrants; refugees; Mayan
MDPI and ACS Style

DeBord, L.; Hopkins, K.A.; Swamy, P. Challenges in Caring for Linguistic Minorities in the Pediatric Population. Children 2019, 6, 87.

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