Physician Second Language Fluency in California

Using data reported to the California Medical Board by California physicians from 2003 to 2007, this article examines whether self-reported second language fluency is associated with the primary geographic practice area of those physicians.  The analysis shows that California physicians with self-reported fluency in Spanish or an Asian language are more likely to practice in areas with higher numbers of limited English proficient populations and higher numbers of linguistically isolated households.  This analysis is one of the first that demonstrates the relationship between physicians’ language fluency and their practice in geographic areas where language concordance is more likely with patients who would need to communicate in Spanish or an Asian language during health care encounters.  

Moreno G, Walker KO, Morales LS, Grumbach K.  Do physicians with self-reported non-English fluency practice in linguistically disadvantaged communities? J Gen Intern Med. 2010 [Epub ahead of print Dec 1]

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An earlier of analysis of the self-reported language fluency data by the same research team found that 42 percent of practicing physicians in California report fluency in one or more languages in addition to English.  

Moreno G, Walker KO, Grumbach K.  Self-reported fluency in Non-English languages among physicians in practicing in California. Fam Med. (2010); 42(6): 414-420

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These articles complement and reinforce the findings from earlier analysis using data collected from a survey of 1,364 California physicians in 2001, which focused on physicians with self-reported fluency in Spanish.  

Yoon J, Grumbach K, Bindman AB.  Access to Spanish-speaking physicians in California: Supply, insurance or both.  J Am Board Fam Pract. (2004); 17(3): 165-172

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