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Pay raise for being bilingual?

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  • #16
    Doc in my clinic (who speaks only English) has several Vietnamese patients who come to see him. The translation requirements really slow things down a lot - such that he books double slots for them. So being able to speak the patient's language does make you money, by increasing efficiency- and of course trust, referrals, etc. Also, not a snowflake, but "um, what country do you think this is" is pretty offensive.

    To the OP question, being bilingual certainly makes you more attractive as a candidate, but I wouldn't expect more money. Worth trying to negotiate for it - can't hurt!

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    • #17
      Originally posted by ENT Doc View Post

      It’s a joke. Sort of. But it’s also commentary on the absurdity that it’s somehow put on us to be “better physicians” by speaking Spanish but not on the Spanish speaking person to be a better citizen and learn English. If it’s put on physicians, businesses, governments, etc. to be “better” by accommodating alternative languages it puts less pressure on immigrants to learn English so we can all communicate and learn from one another. To be clear, I’m not opposed to learning other languages. I’m just opposed to the expectation that we should or that one is “better” for having done so.
      ive never heard nor felt any of this pressure you speak of to "be better" and I dont hear anyone talking about expectations

      ive been to mexico many times and i sure appreciate when people i want or need to interact with speak english. of course thats just a result of market forces and not some mandate. being bilingual there can be an opportunity for a better job, for a more successful business.

      if i had to seek medical care there im sure i would appreciate it 100x more

      my guess is in some places of the US, those same market forces exist.

      doesnt mean we need to take offense

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      • #18
        Really depends if it's your own cultural second language IMHO.

        More efficient? Yes. More complex, lower ses, and slower understanding of medical issue often counterbalance this benefit.

        Population tends to track older immigrant population and first generation born children adults accommany too leading to more questions.

        The overall satisfaction cannot be replicated. Patients usually are eternally grateful and highly respected and much higher success of following through with advice. Metrics all track higher. Suits know this.

        We are a country of immigrants and some simply come too late to understand English well, especially in medical issues where their is a double barrier now to getting to true informed decision making. It's not just the language. It's understanding the cultural underpinnings and approach to medicine that is often crucial to get to compliance .

        There are times it is very trying. I've had folk in Miami chastize me for NOT speaking Spanish (i do but choose not to in medical setting cause simply not proficient enough) to older parent patients telling me I should teaching my own kids Mandarin ... The assumption of second language is irritating.

        In corporate world one should be able to negotiate a small stipend, but it won't be much.

        Be ready to accept a larger role..for better and worse with that proficiency

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        • #19
          Only if your employer finds value in it. But I've certainly seen instances where a doctor carves out a niche and/or becomes very popular with a certain population, creating value for the group/employer. Especially when said patients are generous with donations to the hospital. But spanish is pretty common.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by jacoavlu View Post

            ive never heard nor felt any of this pressure you speak of to "be better" and I dont hear anyone talking about expectations

            ive been to mexico many times and i sure appreciate when people i want or need to interact with speak english. of course thats just a result of market forces and not some mandate. being bilingual there can be an opportunity for a better job, for a more successful business.

            if i had to seek medical care there im sure i would appreciate it 100x more

            my guess is in some places of the US, those same market forces exist.

            doesnt mean we need to take offense
            The first two posts here implicitly or explicitly state it will make you better.

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            • #21
              “The assumption of second language is irritating. ”
              The requirement of a second language is irritating as well.
              That is the price we pay as a country of immigrants. Do what you can and don’t be judgmental.
              MIL 93, understands a little English but speaks very little.. Broken hip last December.
              Red carpet treatment from the ambulance to ER to the OR courtesy of my daughter. MIL didn’t understand crap in either language. Just hurt.
              After the operation (the Asian) trauma doc said directly to her , “Bueno. Uno ano”.
              From that point, she has been motivated for medication, PT and faithfully exercising. Doctors orders for ONE YEAR.
              It worked. She was committed to recovery and does anything.
              Would it be wise to schedule another appointment? She knows the year is almost over. She might become uncooperative. She already gripes. She accepted the authority figure based on a small kind act.
              If you can be anything, be kind.
              In any language.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by ENT Doc View Post

                The first two posts here implicitly or explicitly state it will make you better.
                the OP isn’t talking about you. or me. rather, themselves. in a particular market that they may choose to work in

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by FunkDoc83 View Post

                  Such as?
                  Physician has ownership stake in a lab and orders a bunch of unnecessary tests.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by ENT Doc View Post
                    More money for speaking Spanish?

                    Click image for larger version  Name:	664BCC92-EEE9-4A2C-84CD-D8B6D1D72C15.jpg Views:	127 Size:	32.3 KB ID:	306053
                    Originally posted by jacoavlu View Post

                    really?
                    I'm gonna assume at least some of you don't understand the reference here. And it's kind of misused.

                    The guy in the photo saying "What country do you think this is" is actually the one being offended in the original source material.

                    The scene (from Ferris Bueller's Day Off) is a white kid assuming that the Hispanic-appearing parking attendant doesn't know English. The guy in the photo (not unreasonably, imo) responds with a "What country do you think this is?"

                    It is most definitely NOT the typical (often white) American criticizing someone else for speaking a different language (which is a thing that happens frequently).

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                    • #25
                      In some regions it will probably make you more marketable. I think it will add to your overall job satisfaction—especially if you are in an area where most staff aren’t bilingual the patients who only speak Spanish will be very appreciative of you, and appreciative patients are a nice antidote to burnout.

                      We have a family friend who moved to the US for a time, he is elderly and wealthy and only speaks Spanish. Had private insurance and also willing and able to pay out of pocket for any healthcare needs. Thought about moving to US permanently but ultimately returned to his home country as he missed home. But I would imagine in certain regions there is enough of a market of people like him that you could build a niche following. I doubt most employers would pay you more, but it may give you more options. Also, there a lot of people out there who want to improve their medical Spanish so if you were motivated/so inclined to start such a side gig that may be an opportunity.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by AR View Post



                        I'm gonna assume at least some of you don't understand the reference here. And it's kind of misused.

                        The guy in the photo saying "What country do you think this is" is actually the one being offended in the original source material.

                        The scene (from Ferris Bueller's Day Off) is a white kid assuming that the Hispanic-appearing parking attendant doesn't know English. The guy in the photo (not unreasonably, imo) responds with a "What country do you think this is?"

                        It is most definitely NOT the typical (often white) American criticizing someone else for speaking a different language (which is a thing that happens frequently).
                        yeah, if you have to explain it…

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by jacoavlu View Post

                          yeah, if you have to explain it…
                          Like I said, it was more or less misused.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by ENT Doc View Post

                            The first two posts here implicitly or explicitly state it will make you better.
                            assuming this person would be seeing native spanish speaking patients, i have no clue how that wouldnt make you a better physician (for those patients)

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              I think Medicare pays the same no matter what languages you speak, what race you are or your gender. Creating a niche practice that pays more than insurance may be possible, but then you would have to disenroll from insurance and Medicare like a direct practice model.

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                              • #30
                                I speak Spanish... the bummer is that my scribe does not. So if I do a visit in Spanish, I have to type it all. Oh well.
                                I agree, only $$ you will see is if you see more patients. However, you may get a better job due to knowing two languages.

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