Contact: Sara Quale
With the U.S. now second behind Mexico in Spanish speakers, the need for Spanish-speaking doctors is more critical than ever. One doctor training program, the North Colorado Family Medicine Residency Program in Greeley, Colo., is working to help meet that need.
With nearly half of its 31 resident physicians speaking at least conversational Spanish, NCFM offers unique training, including more procedures such as Cesarean sections, for those preparing to serve patients in rural and other underserved areas.
One of those resident physicians, Georgina De la Garza, MD, hopes to eventually return to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas where she first got her start in medicine and became interested in the “preventable side effects of chronic conditions.”
Dr. De la Garza first moved to the Rio Grande Valley with her family when she was 16, and through a National Institute for Health (NIH) grant at her high school, was able to observe first-hand the medical conditions of refugees and immigrants.
This interest in science and medicine continued in medical school where she attended the Texas A&M Health Science Center and volunteered to practice medicine in impoverished areas with a physician assistant.
Now a second-year resident physician, Dr. De la Garza is part of the program’s Global Health and Advanced Maternity Care tracks with a clear recognition that language and cultural barriers become even more imperative when practicing obstetrics.
Dr. De la Garza’s story illustrates the importance of programs that aim to meet the medical needs of people in underserved areas. If you’d like more information on NCFM or to interview Dr. De la Garza, please contact us. We also can accommodate Spanish-speaking media.