Medical Mandarin Course

Medical Mandarin Course Non-Credit Elective

Started in 2010, Medical Mandarin aims to provide students with sufficient Medical Mandarin knowledge to facilitate effective patient communication and medical interviewing.


Eligible Participants: The course is open only to medical students. However, no prior experience in Mandarin is required.


Course Content: The course consists of a Beginner class and an Advanced class, which are both one hour in length. Participants in the Beginner class gain a basic foundation in Mandarin vocabulary and interview skills, whereas Advanced participants gain more in-depth clinical interviewing skills in Mandarin.


Clinical Experiences: Throughout the year, students participate in Mandarin-speaking community service events where they are paired side-by-side with American-Chinese physicians and health care professionals to provide medical care to a non-English speaking population. Students also have the opportunity to complete a Global Health rotation in Taiwan or China during the summer after M1 year or during the spring of M4 year.


Course Instructors: Two second-year medical students teach the Advanced class, while the Beginner class is led by a second-year medical student and a Mandarin-speaking Rutgers graduate student.


Elective Directors:


Faculty Advisor: Dr. Karen Lin





Patient Care


  • Apply medical Mandarin terminology to obtain a history and perform a physical using Mandarin.
  • Participate in community outreach activities with Mandarin-speaking patients.


Medical Knowledge


  • Learn the vocabulary of common diseases and complaints in Mandarin and English.


Practice-Based Learning and Improvement


  • Advocate for the use of qualified interpreters if encounters exceed student’s proficiency level.


Interpersonal and Communication Skills


  • Initiate conversations with Mandarin-speaking patients.




  • Discuss cultural beliefs and practices unique to the Mandarin-speaking community.


Systems-Based Practice


  • Facilitate improved patient access by bridging the language barrier between Mandarin-speaking patients and English-speaking physicians and staff.



Credit Requirements


Students who successfully fulfill the requirements will receive a notation of completion on their academic transcript.


To receive credit for the course, participants must:


  • Attend at least 8 lectures.
  • Participate in 2 community service events that serve patients whose primary language is Mandarin.


Click for general information.


Link to Medical Mandarin course here.