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Program in CA focuses on Hispanic Health Care

Hispanics are the fastest growing minority group in the U.S. In San Diego, they make up more than a quarter of the population. Despite their growing political clout, Hispanics are still less likely the have health insurance or seek care when sick than white San Diegans. But now a new medical school program is trying to chance that disparity.

It's a challenging case for a young doctor. Her patient has high blood pressure, severe chest pain, and doesn't speak English. However, this is just a role-playing exercise and Marnie Granados is only a first-year-medical student.

Marnie is one of eight students in a new medical program at UC Irvine. The goal is to train doctors to treat Hispanic patients and become activists in Hispanic communities.

"Already, there's data showing that over half of all births in California are from Latino parents, so we have a growing number of people who are in need of physicians who understand their culture, their language, and their health beliefs," said Marnie.

What makes treating Hispanics different from other patients? As the students learned while studying in Mexico, language and cultural barriers leave many Hispanics distrustful of the American health care system.

Read more at: KFMB Stations

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