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Bridging patient–physician language barrier starts in medical school
  1. Sneha Gupta
  1. Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King's College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Sneha Gupta, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King's College London, London SE1 1UL, UK; sneha.gupta{at}

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I would like to thank Venkatesan et al for their article on deconstructing the practical challenges that obstruct safe, effective and respectful patient–physician communication in the context of increasing ethnic plurality in patient population.1 The authors have outlined weaknesses in the current processes employed to bridge language barriers—difficulties in identifying patient need for translation services, gauging the level and form of assistance required and accessing in-person translation services, and the lack of training on optimal usage of available services. The article suggests equipping medical students with knowledge of available translation resources and methods to navigate difficult consults with limited English proficient (LEP) patients as one of the ways to address this language barrier. Drawing from my clinical exposure in the UK, and experiences with Bangladeshi transient workers in Singapore as a Law student, I have seen first hand the bearing of language barrier in communication. Hence, my letter will expound on …

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  • Contributors SG is the sole author.

  • Funding The author has not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.