Medical Interpreter Resources


Becoming a Medical Interpreter

This page is provided as a resource page and does not represent any particular Medical Interpreting school or course. 

Below you will find many educational links for the practice of a Medical Interpreter. All information in this page are for educational purposes and to provide insights in the Medical Interpreter career.


The Medical Interpreting field is achievable if:

  • You like to communicate and have dominion in two languages.
  • For example, if you are going to interpret for Spanish speakers and English speaking medical personal, then it is most beneficial if you are a Spanish or Hispanic native.
  • You want to be able to KNOW the Spanish or Hispanic cultures, jargon and cultural particularities of the different Spanish or Hispanic cultures.
  • You want to be a lifetime learner of medical concepts, human body concepts and physiology.
  • It is recommencd that you be familiar with the use of computers.
  • Most states are now requiring the that medical interpreter get formal training to become a Qualified and Certified Medical Interpreter.
  • Develop sharp memory memory skills.

This page gives an insight of the medical interpreter work. If you wish to become a medical interpreter, you need to locate the resources for medical interpreter at the location you live in. 

Requirements for Becoming a Qualified and Certified Medical Interpreter

The link below describes the requirements for becoming a Qualified and Certified Medical Interpreter. In this link you will notice that the person that wish to attain the qualification or certification for Medical Interpreter is required to take a 60 hours of training.  

Oregon Health Care Interpreter Program Requirements

The following link gives insight of how to become a medical interpreter.

Informational Link: How to Become a Hospital Interpreter

The task of the Medical Interpreter is very similar in regards that interpreter is the voice of both the patient and the doctor, or the medical professional such as a nurse, therapist, etc.

Becoming a Medical Interpreter is a learning and practice journey. What does it take become a Medical Interpreter?

The following link provides a great resource to understand what it takes to become a Medical Interpreter. You will need to learn and master various skillset and knowledge in order to become a skilled and effective Medical Interpreter. The reason for the knowledge of medical terminology and the underlying medical concepts is so that the medical interpreter can relate to the issue at hand and be familiar with the language the doctor or medical provider uses.

Insights of What is Involved in being a Medical Interpreter

  1. A medical interpreter likes to learn about the medical field and medical terminology and likes the health science field.
  2. To be a professional and certified medical interpreter you will need to learn the topics in the next section.
  3. Most medical interpreters are self-employed.
  4. A typical day of a medical interpreter may consist in 3 to 5 interpreting appointments, which you schedule with the agency you work with. The appointments may be less or more depending in the amount of appointment you wish to have. 
  5. The medical interpreter arranges his/her own schedule with the agency they work for. These appointments may start in the morning and you may scheduke appointments until you wish in that day.
  6. Appointments are not necessarily contiguous in time. For example, my appointments may be one at 10AM, one at 2pm, and one at 4pm. 
  7. You are payed for the appontments you complete, not for the interim hours. 
  8. The average rate per hour for a medical interpreter in the USA is $24.25, based on
  9. As a hypothetical example, if the agency you work for pays $20 per hour, and you become a certified medical interpreter, it is possible they could pay you $5 more, raising your rate to $25. So if you do 5 appointments per day and work 5 days per week, and you are a certifoed medical interpreter, this could mean: 5 x 25 x 5, it yields $625 per week. If you work 50 hours a week, it yields in $31,250 per year. This is quite a realistic calculation, but is written here as a hypothetical example. This is an example for you to see the benefits of becoming a certified medical interpreter.
  10. You must base you salary and pay rate based on what that agency pays to the medical interpreter or to the certified medical interpreter.
  11. The very nice thing is that you could start working for one agency and grow in experience and then work for two eagencies.
  12. NOTE: all insights provided above are for educational purposes This site does not dictate or supersedes the policies or pay rate of any agency. All pay rate are stipulated by the agency you may work for. 

The information that follows is my attempt to compile a complementary set of training videos. The video source is YouTube, which we could say have an almost infinite c0ntents. I have attempted to compile of the best resouces out there,can be use for the learning and reviewing the concepts for the Medical Interpreter test.

NOTE: The content below DOES NOT SUBSTITUTE THE FORMAL 60 Hours of Medical Interpreter training. But could help easing the student before take the formal course.

Education Recommended for Medical Interpreter

Become a Qualified or Certified Health Care Interpreter

Below is a sample contents of the training program from the Oregon Health Care Interpreters Association (OHCIA), which is 60-Hour Health Care Interpreter Training. Source:  Copy the link at the left to get their latest course schedule. 

The list below will be updated with links to pages that contain useful resources and videos on the topics that are listed.

  •  Module 1: Introduction to Health Care Interpreting & Medical Terminology 

  •  Module 2: Musculoskeletal System/Fundamentals of Message Conversion 

  • Module 3: Cardiovascular System & Respiratory System/Developing Memory Skills 

  • Module 4: Nervous & Integumentary Systems/Basic Sight Translation 

  • Module 5: Health Care Interpreting Ethics I 

  • Module 6: Ethics II/Endocrine & Lymphatic Systems 

  • Module 7: Digestive & Teeth/Interpreting Equivalence 

  • Module 8: Reproductive & Urinary Systems/Cultural Awareness 

  • Module 9: Ears, Nose, Throat, Vision and Teeth/Advanced Interpreting Skills 

  • Module 10: Advanced Health Care Interpreting–Final Exam 

Selected Training Videos

The following are links to specialized and advanced training videos on more elaborated concepts that are part of the core knowledge for Medical Interpreters

Eyes Subsystem

The videos below have the purpose of first introducing what a Medical Interpreter is, then followed by selected Medical Treminology videos.

The content below are complementary learning for the course modules for the preparation of tests in Oregon:  

Module 1: Introduction to Health Care Interpreting & Medical Terminology 

Certified Medical Interpreters: Improving Patient Experience and Health Care Performance

How to Become a Medical Interpreter

Being a professional medical interpreter requires to be knowledgeable of medical terminology. You will need to know the medical terminology in English and the selected language. You will need to also know the slang that a regional group uses. In the case of a Spanish medical interpreter, you will likely need to learn the different words used for different parts of the body or names of the illnesses in regions such as Mexico, Central America, South America and Spain.

You will need to know as much as possible about the medical terminology in English. You need to know the meaning of the words, not just the word.

Stanford School of Medicine: Working with Professional Interpreters

Qualified Interpreters for Quality Health Care – Pt 1 with subtitles

Qualified Interpreters for Quality Health Care – Pt 2 with subtitles

Note-taking for consecutive interpretation (Roche on Notes)

Medical Terminology in English

Medical Terminology – The Basics – Lesson 1

Medical Terminology – The Basics – Lesson 1 | Practice and Example Problems

Medical Terminology – The Basics – Lesson 2

Medical Terminology – The Basics – Lesson 3

Medical Terminology – The Basics – Lesson 4

Medical Terminology – The Basics – Lesson 5

Medical Terminology | Lesson 6 | Anatomy and Anatomical Terms

Medical Terminology | Lesson 7 | Musculoskeletal and Reproductive Anatomy Terms

Medical Terminology | The Basics and Anatomy | Practice Problems Set 1

Medical Terminology | The Basics and Anatomy | Practice Problems Set 2

Training Videos of Actual Interpreting Sessions in Spanish

These are selected videos on actual medical interpreting sessions.

Working with an interpreter in the healthcare setting

Accurate Medical Interpreting

Interpreter Training (Clarifying)

Interpreter Training (Part 1)

Interpreter Training (Part 2)

Interpreter Training (Part 3)

Interpreter Training: Inappropriate Interpreters

5 tips for working with interpreters

4 translation skills all translators need, but most bilinguals lack!

This is an interesting video because most skills that are required to be a professional interpreter are similar to being a professional translator.

Consecutive Interpreting Rules

Medical Interpreter Certification – Terminology Spanish – English Digestive System Video 1

Spanish Medical Interpreter – Spanish Medical Terminology (Digestive System Video 2)

Spanish Medical Interpreter – Spanish Medical Terminology (Digestive System Video 3)

Learn Spanish Aprende Inglés: Medical Terms – Términos Médicos ESL


Getting Ready for the Medical Interpreter Test

The learning insights for Medical Interpreter are very similar to the Legal Interpreter, in regards to the basic testing process. The main differnce of these two tests is the contents. That is, Medical Interpreter Exam will test the person on medical concepts and situations and the are very similar to the Legal Interpreter Exam will test the person on legal concepts and situations. The mechansim of the test can be similar.

How to Improve Your Chances When Taking an Interpreting Exam