Spanish and Cultural Immersion CME / CNE at Hospitalito Atitlán in Guatemala

Do you treat Spanish-speaking patients on a regular basis? Do you want to communicate with them in their language?

Do you wish you understood more about your patients' culture and customs? Take your medical Spanish skills to the next level and learn about the culture of Guatemala with Hospitalito Atitln's fully accredited Spanish and Cultural Immersion CME / CNE. This course is recommended for physicians, nurses and medical professionals who have studied Spanish in the past. Physicians [MDs and DOs) can receive CME credit and nurses can receive contact hours. Other healthcare professionals will be eligible to receive a Certificate of Attendance

The five-day course is held at Hospitalito Atitlán on the picturesque shores of Lake Atitlán, Guatemala.

Spanish and Cultural Immersion CME / CNE is perfect for people who have mastered basic Spanish communication through study and/or travel and would like to immerse themselves in the language in a medical setting. It also engages students in the Maya experience, helping them to better connect with patients from foreign cultures.

Students will learn to perform the following in Spanish in a community hospital setting:

  • Take a medical history
  • Identify chief complaints
  • Conduct a physical exam
  • Attend morning report
  • Communicate with specialists

Program features include:

  • Small classes (Six doctors per session).
  • One-on-one instruction by experienced local Spanish language teachers.
  • Rotating lectures by Hospitalito faculty.
  • Introduction to the modern indigenous Maya city, Santiago Atitlán, through screening of the documentary film, Balancing the Cosmos.
  • Tour into the homes of cottage industry weavers thru the auspices of the Cojolya Asociación of Maya Women Weavers
  • Introduction to local Maya Culture - walking tour of the village.

Course fee: $1,295, which includes ground transportation to and from Guatemala City and single-person accommodations at the beautiful La Posada de Santiago, Hotel Eco Bambu or Hotel Tiosh Abaj (dependent on advanced enrollment and availability). There is additional charge for family members.

This daily outline gives a brief overview of the course.

Day 1 - Introduction to Medical Spanish, How to take a Medical, Social, Occupational and Family History. Immunizations. Screening of "Balancing the Cosmos" as an introduction to Maya traditional culture followed by a walking tour of village with local guide.

Day 2 - Physical Exam, Chief Complaint, Treatment, Follow-Up, Lab, and systems vocabulary. Discussion on challenges of managing chronic disease in the context of the Maya belief system led by HA medical volunteer, Dr. Michael Dougherty.

Day 3 - Medications, Contraception and Pregnancy, Delivery and Breastfeeding. Luncheon talk with Hospitalito's Social Worker on the healthcare decision making process within the family.

Day 4 - Poisoning, Drugs and Alcohol Abuse, Physical and Sexual Abuse, Rape, AIDS, Geriatrics, Infectious Diseases in Spanish-speaking Countries. Screening of "Estrellas de la Linea" and presentation by HA Board member Lidia Esquina Ramirez about women's issues in Guatemala.

Day 5 - Psychiatrics in Latin America, Mental Health, Addiction and Depression, Psychiatric Interviews, Diseases in the Developing World.

Spanish and Cultural Imemersion CME/CNE is offered throughout the year with openings available for the following dates:


To register, click on the preferred date. Review the instructions, fill out the forms and submit them to Hospitalito. Please make travel arrangements to arrive in Guatemala City mid-day on Sunday for the three hour trip to Santiago Atitlán. The courses free shuttle leaves Saturday morning to arrive at the Guatemala City airport for mid-day flights.

PLEASE NOTE: The following two textbooks must be purchased in the US and brought to Guatemala for the course: (We highly recommend a print copy of the book for a better learning experience with your teacher.)


In support of improving patient care, Penn Medicine is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Designation of Credit

PHYSICIANS: Penn Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 26 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

NURSES: The program will award 26 contact hours.

PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS: AAPA accepts certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society. PAs may receive a maximum of 26 Category 1 credits for completing this activity.

"The CME week offered by the Hospitalito Atitlán was an outstanding experience in all respects. Not only was I able to improve my Spanish, but also, at the same time, learned about the fascinating culture of this extraordinary Mayan community surrounded by amazing natural beauty. A unique opportunity!"

Robert Meyer, M.D. Cambridge, MA

"The course was a great experience and really improved my Spanish skills and cultural awareness. Best value experience for my CME activities!"

Emergency physician Dr. Rokhsanna Sadeghi volunteered in the ER for one week after the course.

Dr. Michelle Birdseye

"This is the best CME I have ever attended, I want to come back."

Dr. Michelle Birdseye, Eugene OR, January 2014.

Andrew Smith, MD

Andrew Smith, MD,
"I loved the week and learned a lot in a short time. The stunning landscapes were complemented by engaging discussions about the cultural and anthropological aspects to practicing medicine in an indigenous community. If you want a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do CME in Latin America, come to Hospitalito Atitlan!"

Erin Gertz, MD

Erin Gertz, MD,
"I will be able to take a more comprehensive history from my Spanish speaking patients and I will be able to direct them during a physical exam."