A groundbreaking new survey launched for the study: “Integrating Culture, Language and Accent Training in the Medical Community”

Tustin, CA, Owings Mills, MD and Brookline, MA. Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Three prominent training leaders in the fields of Accent and Advanced ESL for adults have launched a four month investigative research project to look at the impact of cultures, language differences, and accent on the realities of patient care in US medical settings. The principles of LDS & Associates, Successfully Speaking, and The Whittaker Group are the research investigators for this study. Preliminary findings are tentatively going to be presented at the American Speech Language and Hearing Association annual meeting in San Diego, California in November, 2005. Other presentations are under consideration.

This project will assess how diversity in the medical community impacts the quality of patient care. Secondary goals of the study are to 1) develop training programs to address these challenges to optimize clinical outcome 2) develop materials such as multi-lingual communication boards to maximize functional communication in the medical setting 3) develop role playing scenarios and scripts to improve cross-cultural understanding and sensitivity.

Prominent in this study will be the online survey of healthcare providers in all professional capacities. Data collection for this project is ambitious: during the 4-month timeline, they wish to collect a minimum of 500 responses. Respondents will include both second language speakers of English but also, the native speakers of English who collaborate and or supervise the multicultural/multilingual workforce. The anticipated results will help corporate trainers devise improvements to the existing practical and successful communication improvement programs available in the medical settings.

To date, no comprehensive, national, and publicly-accessible survey on these issues has been done. By utilizing the anonymity of an online survey format, it is anticipated that the respondents will offer candid and completely confidential responses. Numerous university medical schools and health organizations have tentatively agreed to distribution the survey links to their database, including the New England School of Acupuncture.