Medical Conference Interpreter
When attending medical conferences, doctors often ask me if I am a Doctor myself. I am not. I am an engineer. I like to know how things work and I like to know how to fix things when they are broken. I am also a medical interpreter.
I guess that is why I am a good medical translator. I get calls from all over the world to attend medical conferences. Not because I have great medical experience, but because I can understand and explain how the body works and how to fix it when it fails.
Obviously, Doctors do that a lot better than engineers. So why do they call me? Because I understand it in different languages at the same time, and I can explain it while someone else is explaining it to me.
I am a conference interpreter. As an engineer, I have built a strong affinity for medical conference interpretation. My professional background has provided me with the mental structure to understand how the body works. While this seems to be a mystery to most people, this is the doctor’s purpose.
I work in Broward county, because there is a strong medical infrastructure in this area. From 55+ care facilities, to diabetes treatment, aesthetics, dental, and urgent care among others.
It´s important to understand your health
South Florida, from Boynton, to the Keys, from Weston to Hollywood is a medical interpreters dream come true.
Learning about advances in Alzheimer’s research or alternative treatments is not even close to as exciting as talking about it in public. Transferring new and current information on the latest publications to a group of experts in a subject who respond positively to your translation is actually priceless.
Being able to understand how to fix or treat a disease or symptom that has been the source of investigation, is not as stimulating as communicating this information to the experts who have been dwelling over it throughout their entire careers.
However, bilingualism and a deep understanding of anatomy and physiology are not enough to make a medical interpreter. Knowledge on medical regulations, insurance, liability, responsibility and ethics are also crucial for a medical translator.
All translators must be aware of the cultural elements of simultaneous translation or interpreting, whether while exercising as a conference interpreter, or at a court. Yet, a medical translator must be particularly mindful of being polite, taking turns properly in the communication between the doctor and the patient or the patient’s family, using the correct body language and most of all, of interruptions.
Medical interpretation at a hospital or health center environment may be extenuating to the translator and in many cases, leads to burnout of the interpreter. As an interpreter, one must transmit in first person all the information from the doctor to the patient, regarding illnesses, and possible treatments and outcomes. As a medical interpreter, one must also translate, in first person, the fears and questions of the patient towards the information provided by the doctor or caregiver.
This means that the translator is basically absorbing the information provided by both medical personnel, patient, and probably their next of kin, therefore assuming, in first person, the entire medical situation from all points of view, transferring feelings and concerns from the patient and his family onto the doctor and transferring data and forecasts from the doctors back.
The medical translator who works as a conference interpreter, handles a completely different, yet equally stressful situation. The medical conference interpreter is responsible for effectively transmitting the results from the research or recent development to a community of experts.