Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to attend your Medical Interpreter Certificate program?
Wow! This sounds great! How do I register? Is there a waiting list?
There is no waiting list. Admission to our Medical Interpreter Certificate job training program is highly competitive. Each year we select a small number of program participants from a large applicant pool (164 applicants for 20 spots in the first year, and 195 applicants for 30 spots in the second year.
I'm already bilingual and I interpret for my family all the time. Why would I need a certificate?
That's a common misconception about professional interpreting. Many people assume that if an individual speaks two languages, she or he can automatically be an interpreter. But the truth is that being bilingual is not enough to be a competent interpreter, especially in medical settings where someone's health (and perhaps life!) depends on your interpretation skills. In our medical interpreting course, students learn thousands of medical terms in two languages; get a functional understanding of body systems, symptoms, diseases, diagnostic tools, and treatments; learn the US medical system and the many ways in which it might differ from the systems that are familiar to LEP (Limited English Proficiency) patients; learn the interpreter Code of Ethics and sharpen their skills solving hypothetical ethical dilemmas; receive rigorous language coaching from an experienced professional medical interpreter who specializes in the same languages as the student; and much, much more. Bilingual individuals who interpret without having had formal training as described above as called "ad hoc interpreters." Although sometimes there are no other options, using ad hoc interpreters in medical settings can be dangerous, costly, and is not considered "equal access to health care" for LEP patients. Moreover, medical institutions receiving any federal funding are required by law to provide professional (not ad hoc) medical interpreters to LEP patients. A reputable medical institution is very unlikely to hire you as a medical interpreter without the successful completion of a formal Medical Interpreter Certificate course.
Will I get a job after graduating from your program?
We do not promise job placement. (Beware of any job training programs that promise you a job!) Nor do we promise that getting a job will be easy. In fact, we'd like you to know that getting a job will be very, very hard, and require a lot of effort on your part. We make a commitment to help you brace for this challenge and support you through this difficult process. During the 12-week training program, we will provide you with the skills you'll need to break into the medical interpreting profession. Then we spend the rest of the year helping you find a job! We will connect you with prospective employers through our relationships in the local medical field. Found in Translation is the most selective and competitive Medical Interpreter Certificate training program around, which is attractive to employers. Lastly, as of January 2013, we have piloted a small-scale job placement program in partnership with Tufts Medical School. This partnership created 3 jobs exclusively for our graduates at Sharewood, a volunteer clinic in Malden. During this temporary job placement, graduates get work experience, earn some money, and undergo a rigorous professional development curriculum with the goal of finding a permanent medical interpreting jobs.
I don't qualify for your program, but I'd like to be a medical interpreter. What other options do I have?
What are the eligibility criteria to be considered for your program?
Is there any flexibility to your eligibility criteria?
Why don't you accept men into your program?
Do you offer this outside the Greater Boston Area?
Not at this time. We get lots of inquiries from across the United States and abroad asking us to bring this service to other communities. We are currently in the process of optimizing our program to get it ready for replication. Contact us if you're interested in bringing our program to a particular community.