Patient Safety, Professionalization, and Reimbursement as Primary Drivers for National Medical Interpreter Certification in the United States

Izabel S. Arocha, Linda Joyce


In a medical setting, interpretation by unskilled bilingual individuals can have serious repercussions when it results in a lower standard of care for minority-language patients. In order to address the issue and to help ensure that competent interpreters are recognized and compensated for their skills, the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters launched a national certification program for medical interpreters in 2009. This article describes the process of development and deployment for national certification, its current state, and plans to expand certification to additional languages and locales.


medical interpreting, healthcare interpreting, interpreter certification, National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters, interpreter certification, health care

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