An ATA Professional Development Event
Presented by the American Translators Association and the
Association of Translators and Interpreters in the San Diego Area

Ways to Save

Continuing Education
Earn up to 9 CEPs for the ATA Certification Program.

Certification Exam Registration
An ATA certification exam sitting will be held on Sunday, July 12.

This program is subject
to change.

Abstracts / Bios

Medical Writing: Abbreviations, Symbols, and Units of Measure

Medical records present some special challenges to the translator. For one, many of these documents are handwritten: progress notes, doctors orders, and prescriptions. For another, some of the records are actually transcriptions of information dictated by a physician while conducting an examination, performing an operation, viewing tissues, or examining films: autopsy reports, history and physical examinations, operative reports, and diagnostic studies. Finally, most laboratory studies and some imaging reports are generated by equipment.

A common denominator in these documents is the use of words and phrases, symbols, and units of measure in abbreviated forms. This “shorthand” style is understandable since the majority of the documentation found in a patient’s clinical history is only meant for review by either the examining physician or other medical personnel. Converting this documentation into an intelligible and grammatically correct form for the target audience of our translations requires familiarity with record formats, an understanding of the information being conveyed, and recognition of guidelines and rules which govern standardized medical writing. Some of the details and difficulties in the translation of medical texts will be highlighted. Suggestions and resources for successful resolution will be offered.

The Pancreas: Function and Dysfunction

Homeostasis, the dynamic balance of neurological and chemical processes in the human body, is maintained by constant feedback and regulation involving the brain, nervous tissues, and a great number of glands and organs. One important and essential organ that helps maintain homeostasis that many translators and interpreters do not know much about is the pancreas, a hand-sized, leaf-like gland located behind the stomach and in front of the first and second lumbar vertebrae that extends from the curve of the duodenum to the spleen. The pancreas has both exocrine and endocrine functions that are crucial to digestion and glucose metabolism. Pathological conditions of the pancreas can be chronic or acutely life threatening. The goals of this seminar include: identifying the pancreatic anatomical structures medical translators and interpreters must be familiar with; discussing function and dysfunction of the pancreas including pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis, and diabetes; becoming familiar with common diagnostic and laboratory tests; and highlighting commonly used abbreviations.

Michael Blumenthal graduated from the University of Michigan with a major in zoology and a minor in English before receiving his Master's Degree in Biological Control of Insects from Cornell University. He spent four years in Colombia where he worked at a research station as a Peace Corps volunteer. After returning to the U.S. in 1983, he co-founded M&M Translations, Inc. and currently serves as director. He has worked for the last 12 years as a full-time Spanish into English translator for the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services: Disability Determination Services where he translates medical records and claimant generated materials.

Broken Hearts: Congenital Heart Defects

Congenital heart defects are among the most frequent impairments seen in a children’s hospital. Terminology in these situations can be a challenge for the medical translator or interpreter. Tetralogy, VSD, PDA and many other congenital conditions and surgical treatments will be explained.

Demystifying Cardiovascular Terminology

Medical translators frequently encounter terminology related to cardiovascular tests and procedures in their work. Just what is an occlusion of the LAD, or an ST segment depression, or decreased ventricular wall motion? A general understanding of cardiovascular procedures facilitates an accurate translation. This workshop will provide information on common cardiovascular tests and procedures from a layman's perspective. Resources, such as a glossary and websites for further study, will be provided.

Mary Esther Diaz, M.Ed., is a self-employed translator and interpreter trainer. She currently serves as administrator of the ATA's Medical Division and secretary of the Texas Association of Healthcare Interpreters and Translators. She is co-founder of the Austin Area Translators and Interpreters Association and has served in a variety of capacities with the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care since 2001. She is ATA-certified Spanish to English and English to Spanish, and has worked as an in-house medical translator, disability examiner, and training director for the Texas Rehabilitation Commission where she also taught medical terminology for 19 years. She created the seven-course Translation and Interpretation Certificate Program at Austin Community College where she is also an adjunct faculty member. In addition to teaching Bridging the Gap for the Cross Cultural Health Care Program and the Spanish Bilingual Assistant for the Medical Interpreter Project of Phoenix Children’s Hospital, she has taught interpreter workshops for the Florida Department of Health and for refugee resettlement agencies throughout Texas.

The Art of Medical Interpreting and Translation: Analysis of an Encounter in the SICU

This session will provide lessons learned during a four-hour interpreting session for the family of a patient admitted to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit via the Trauma Bay. Attendees will actively learn via role-play and taking part in discussion groups. The skills required when interpreting and translating for several different services in a high-stress environment will be reviewed. This session will also discuss a case study that reveals the challenges involved when interpreting and translating between a patient’s family and highway patrol officers, nurses, social workers, priests, and medical examiners.

Maria Lopez is a professional medical interpreter for University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center. She completed the Translation and Interpretation Professional Certificate Program at UCSD Extension. She currently teaches a university-level medical Spanish workshop and volunteers as cultural competency advisor for the UCSD Nursing education program. She also tutors doctors in medical Spanish and has done volunteer work as an interpreter for the Flying Samaritans. She has also had her creative writing published by the UCSD Medical School literary magazine.

Informed Consent for Clinical Trials

Informed Consent is one of the most basic ways by which healthcare professionals protect the subjects' rights to be informed and to make decisions based on relevant information. Not only does it protect the subject, but Informed Consent also protects the professionals performing the clinical trials or procedures. In order for the consent to be informed, the subject must first achieve a clear understanding of the relevant facts, risks, and benefits involved. Attendees will gain a clear understanding of the different parts of the Informed Consent, its purpose, what it means for both the investigator and the subject, how the procedures performed are explained in the Informed Consent, dosing and scheduling of therapies, and alternative therapies proposed.

Diana Landau, MD, MPH, received her medical degree in Buenos Aires, Argentina, along with specializations in General Pediatrics and Neonatology. She also received her master's in Public Health from San Diego State University and a Certificate in Translation (English-Spanish) from the University of California, San Diego. She has translated a wide variety of medical and pharmaceutical texts over the last 25 years and she is the co-founder and chief financial officer of Transmark, Inc., a company that provides medical and pharmaceutical translation, as well as editing and proofreading of healthcare texts.