The National Board of Certified Medical Interpreters (NBCMI). NBCMI is one of two national organizations to certify medical interpreters. Here's a direct link to the certification candidate handbook.

Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI). CCHI is one of two national organizations to certify medical interpreters. Here's a direct link to the candidate's examination book.  This organization has also introduced a civic engagement toolbox for healthcare interpreters

CCHI has collected advocacy resources from an array of organizations.

Berthine Crévecoeur West, based in Atlanta, hosts a podcast called “In Other Words.” In this episode, held on May 11, 2018, she interviews the chair of the National Board of Certified Medical Interpreters (NBCMI): Jazmin Manjarrez. This is worth checking out in light of recent policy changes regarding accredidation for certification made by NBCMI.

NBCMI is now hosting monthly webinars on how to prepare for written and oral certification exams.  Currently available to speakers of Spanish, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Vietnamese. 

CCHI offers the following page of certification resources and has also delivered a civic engagement toolbox for healthcare interpreters.

Do you want to know how the two U.S. national medical interpreter certifications compare? From Helen Eby of Gaucha Translations comes a crystal clear comparison of the NBCMI and CCHI certifications. Her chart compares costs, pass rates, test content, what is required for CE credits.


National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC)
The NCIHC is a multidisciplinary organization based in the United States whose mission is to promote culturally competent professional health care interpreting as a means to support equal access to health care for individuals with limited English proficiency.
NCIHC published the National Code of Ethics and National Standards of Practice for Interpreters in Health Care.

NCIHC has also recently announced a valuable new resource for interpreter trainers and healthcare interpreters who work with patients who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or asexual (LGBTQIA). 

The Certification Commission of Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) and Castle Worldwide, Inc have published results for the 2016 National Job Task Analysis Study for Healthcare Interpreters.

CCHI also has provided this "Civic Engagement Toolbox for Healthcare Interpreters".

International Medical Interpreting Association (IMIA): self-described as a "multidisciplinary organization whose mission is to promote and enhance language access in health care in the United States". This is one of the richest websites in the U.S. for articles, discussions and resources related to health care for culturally and linguistically diverse patients.

AHRQ, the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, has created the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit, 2nd Edition which includes many valuable tools.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists provides this video showing by example in a hospital setting the importance of having a qualified interpreter available.

Think Cultural Health offers a wealth of other free resources, including free CME and CEU online courses (high quality) for doctors, nurses, first responders, oral health providers and health promoters.  Here is a video on how to work effectively with medical interpreters. It's a Think Cultural Health case study.

Health Information Translations offers a wealth of health information translated into more than a dozen languages; for example, what a 'bone marrow biopsy' is -- in Korean -- and what would be involved in preparing for this test.  Search by language, topic, or keyword.


CHIA webinar: U.S. Health Care Insurance: An Overview of Government Funded Programs and Key Terminology

CHIA webinar: Interpreting for Sexual & Gender Minorities


This five-part series from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, consists of short videos showing real-life problems in interpreting (including the perils of family members who interpret): issues that could apply to any country -- and nearly any human service.


A Functional Manual for Providing Linguistically Competent Health Care Services as Developed by a Community Health Center, n.d. This 108-page online manual is a project of the U.S. Asian Pacific Association of Community Health Organizations. The manual includes “replicable templates in assessment, development of written policies and procedures, and monitoring of health care interpretation services.”

The site lists a number of resources for learning “medical English,” such as exercises, quizzes, worksheets, flashcards and more.

Access Denied: Washington’s Charity Care System, its Shortfalls, and the Effect on Low-Income Patients; this in-depth report is based on a wide survey, involving testing across the U.S. state of Washington. The focus is on language access and charity care to Spanish-language speakers in hospitals. The report also recommends policies to improve language access in hospitals.

“Ask Me 3” looks at the classic three questions we should all ask our health providers. Other helpful resources include one on health literacy for provider-patient communication, a quick guide to health literacy, and an overview of adult literary facts.

Authored by Carolyn E. Smith and Carissa Denton, Improving language interpretation practices focuses on how an acute care hospital improved interpreting services on a medical surgical unit.

The government of Australia with the Center for Culture, Ethnicity and Health has come out with a great tool that helps doctors and interpreters work together for effective teachback.

A series of video podcasts for medical students from the University of Virginia shines a light on basic clinical skills, procedures and exams.

National Health Law Program (NHeLP) has updated its 50-state report on U.S. state law requirements on language access in healthcare.


The National Health Law Program (NHeLP) is a nonprofit organization that supports access to health care for low-income residents. It has many excellent documents about language access and language services in health care. To see the page on LEP/language access publications, click here. This website should be checked regularly as NHeLP continues to publish many valuable documents relevant to the field of healthcare interpreting and language access.


Federal standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS Standards) were developed by the Office of Minority Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CLAS Standards were created for organizations that offer health services.

This is a historic document: the first set of national standards to guide service delivery to immigrants, refugees and other diverse populations speaking many languages. Its impact extends well beyond health services. Although the 14 standards target health services, they are a critical resource for other community services. Four standards target language access; others target cultural barriers, cultural competence and institutional access. 

Ideally, administrators should read and apply these voluntary standards. For more information, including the final report, go to: (This is a large document.)


Spanish Medical Dictionaries

ISBN 0911910-14-X ($34.95)
The entire manual is available for free consultation online.

The dictionary can also be downloaded for free at:

Medical Dictionaries in Other Languages