The main goal of the Somos Hermanos Student Immersion Program is to improve health care, education and social services access and quality for Latinos in the US and Canada, ensuring that participants are able to put their skills into action after completing the program.
Through its network of past participants across the US and Canada, Somos Hermanos can connect participants with volunteer opportunities that target underserved Latino populations. Volunteering in these sites allows Somos Hermanos alum to keep their language skills sharp and put their new skills to use while they continue their education.
Given that most participants are engaged in rigorous study or clinical work following the program, Somos Hermanos allows participants to decide how much or little time to spend volunteering.
Skills in Action
Skills in Action
"In January of 2013, about a month after returning to the States, I started working in an Adult Internal Medicine Clinic in inner-city Denver, that serves over 50% Hispanics that do not speak any English. Two of my coworkers are native Spanish-speakers (one from Chile and one from Mexico; a third co-worker is Haitian but speaks fluent Spanish as well), and we converse in Spanish all day, every day. I am also conversing daily with Spanish-speaking patients. Needless to say, my Spanish has continued to improve tremendously since leaving the program, and I recently took an exam and passed to become a certified medical interpreter for the hospital.
Aside from being able to speak Spanish, I have been able to see the impacts of having a language barrier in trying to obtain medical care here in the United States. There is a huge difference between using an interpreter with a patient and actually being able to talk to them, and when I am a physician I know this will make the quality of care that I provide much higher. I would be in a totally different place had I not done the Somos Hermanos program, and I really believe Somos' mission of producing bilingual and culturally competent healthcare professionals is being realized."
Julie Highland, MD candidate, University of Colorado
“The program has greatly impacted how I practice medicine. It expanded my view about the importance of community health and combining public health with clinical care. It also gave me skills to communicate and understand immigrants living in the US.”
Katy Lewis, Physician Assistant, University of Colorado School of Medicine