Program teaches local medical students to work with patients speaking limited English


COLUMBUS, Ohio — A medical school lesson is aiming to ensure prescriptions, diagnoses and other health information doesn't get lost in translation.

Residents in The Ohio State University College of Medicine are learning to talk with patients who have limited English proficiency.

The training uses virtual reality and tablets along with artificial intelligence. The goal is for the residents to get critical information from the 'patient' named Mr. Martinez.

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Martinez, an avatar, speaks some English but it is not his first language.

Health care providers have to take this training, especially if they are Medicaid providers. The OSU residents are employed by OSU Wexner Medical Center and Medicaid providers. A grant from the Ohio Department of Medicaid is aimed at ensuring these skills are taught.

The conversations are transcribed and graded with real-time feedback.