Spanish for Medicine and Health

This course will provide Spanish students with the skills and communicative competitions of different professional areas: Medicine, nursing and medical research. Similarly , it will provide professionals with cultural and social knowledge of the Hispanic world, which is needed to improve the development of health practice. This knowledge will be applied in the linguistic immersion in the biomedical cluster of Santander.

Teaching Spanish for specific purposes in the health sector raises several key challenges; on the one hand the specificity of terminology and the variation of the documents in various countries, secondly, the complexity of the social environment and the sensitivity needed in the selection of vocabulary and structures in dealing with patients and communicative interactions in the hospital. We take these premises as our guidelines and we propose a deep investigation both, terminological and documentary aspect, and in the social and interpersonal fabric of Spain and Latin America in those aspects relevant to the health sector.

student profile

The course is aimed at professionals in the health field and graduate and postgraduate students from these matters or other linked. The biomedical cluster team will make an exhaustive study of the professional needs of the student in order to design an itinerary of professional immersion according to his profile. Likewise, the academic equipment of the CIESE-Comillas will adapt the content of the program to the needs of the student by analyzing his level of language.


The main aims of this program are:

  • To provide students with adequate tools for effective and affective communication, conflict resolution and proper management of all situations in dealing with patients.
  • Handle issues such as non-verbal communication, the use of the environment and the importance of both what is said and what is not said, in order to achieve greater efficiency and better understanding of the context.
  • Analyze communication situations emphasizing communication and rhetorical skills required and also in the written documents that are used in the practice of medicine.
  • Promote the immersion by integrating medical professional in the real work of a health center.


Common course material

  • The health in Spain and Latin America.
  • The scientific investigation in the sanitary area.
  • Sanitary culture and attitudes towards the medicine. Professionals, users and patients.
  • Anatomy and physiology.
  • Diseases, symptoms and stages of the life. General pathology.
  • Anamnesis, diagnostic tests and treatments. The clinical history.
  • Centers of primary care.
  • Hospitals.
  • Ethics and business ethics. The professional secret. Official colleges and medical companies.

Specific thematic blocks

  • 1. Spanish for Health: We will deal, between other topics, with the medical specialities, the doctor – patient relationship, etc.
  • 2. Medicine and Nursing: elements and situations of primary care and specialized care will be discussed, the nurse-patient relationship, etc.
  • 3. Medical research: There will be considered, among other areas, biomedicine, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, etc.


The evaluation will be of formative character and it has as aim to control the stadium of learning and the needs of every student along the process. A first diagnostic evaluation is performed to determine the starting point and the needs of students. Throughout the course, students complete a learning diary document that will serve as formative assessment and self-assessment. There will be carried out a self-evaluation and collaborative evaluation of the activities of oral and written expression made by the students.


A diploma issued by the Comillas Foundation.