…HA was again searching for a primary doctor (who would return a call) and saw three-quarters of those on the provider list had a foreign surname, most of them Indian or Pakistani. (Nationwide, a quarter of doctors went to non-US med schools.)
…Karen Blum, writing in the Baltimore Sun (July 14, 2006), says some doctors are hiring speech pathologists to correct their extreme accents.
…Since 1998, licensing has required an English proficiency test. Actors portray patients and doctors must talk to them, take a medical history, answer questions.
…Foreign training can be excellent, but a language barrier can erode patient comfort.
…The speech therapists use videotaping and mirrors, so the doctors can see themselves. Some doctors even get a mold made of their palate, so they can wear a retainer-like device to collect contact data between tongue and top of the mouth in forming words.
…If the doctor is reluctant to speak--or the patients cannot understand instructions and comments—then all this is well justified.
…We need communication in this of all areas!