Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Research Sponsor

Dr. Matthew Wyszynski

First Reader

Dr. Parizad Dejbord-Sawan

Second Reader

Dr. Thomas Neal


The basis of the physician-patient relationship relies heavily on communication. It has been known that conversation between physician and patient is important in both diagnosing and providing therapeutic support. However, according to the US Census Bureau twenty percent of the US population does not use English as their first language. These residents face language barriers on a daily basis, including when they are being treated medically. The aim of this study was to research the physician’s perspective on the use of interpretive services and how it impacts the physician- patient relationship. The research consisted of surveying physicians who encounter patients that are not fluent in English. The results of the preliminary data showed that physicians do not believe that interpretive services hinder the physician-patient relationship. In fact, as reported in the preliminary data, physicians seemed to be pleased with the services that interpreters provided. However, a strong conclusion cannot be made with this data due to the low numbers of LEP patients the respondents treat on a weekly basis. The results show a strong consensus towards the issue of interpretive services not addressing cultural differences. Further research on this subject matter should focus on the issue of culture and how interpretive services lack to address it.