01. Introduction

02. FAQ

03. Class Schedule

04. Class Resources


Introduction to Medical Mandarin

Steve & Weixia
Your two awesome Medical Mandarin Coordinators, Steve Sun and Weixia Guo.

Medical mandarin is a student-run course that aims to teach the basics of Mandarin Chinese used in a medical setting. The goals of the course are as follows:

1. Teach students medical vocabulary relating to organ systems and phrases used while taking a history and physical exam.
2. Help students become familiar with the differences in Chinese and American culture, which may affect the care for Asian American patients.
3. Practice general Chinese listening and speaking skills by conversing with classmates and coordinators.
4. Have fun!


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is med mandarin?

Medical Mandarin is a student-run course that aims to teach medical terminology and useful medically related phrases in Mandarin Chinese. In addition to language, the course also focuses on the differing views of Chinese and American cultures on medicine. Overall, the course hopes to train medical students who have a basic foundation in spoken Mandarin to become capable of conducting a simple clinic visit completely in Mandarin.

2. Who can participate?

Due to the difficult nature of the language, we are currently looking for students who are already somewhat proficient at least at a basic level in Chinese (perhaps speak at home, took it in college, etc.). This would include an understanding in pronunciation and an ability to read pinyin.

3. I feel like my Mandarin might not be good enough, what should I do?

If you’ve met the baseline requirement to take the course, then NO WORRIES! Weixia and Steve are both very capable and patient in teaching for all levels, and if anyone needs extra practice with their pinyin reading, and perhaps even Chinese speech flow, feel free to contact either of them (see below).

4. What is the format of the course?

The course is case based. Each week, we will learn material related to the current sequence of the M1 curriculum. Material will include a short case paragraph in Chinese, similar to those of the M1 sequences and new vocabulary. For example, during the cardiology sequence, we could potentially cover a case about a patient who has crushing chest pain and shortness of breath. We will read the case in Chinese together, discuss the new vocabulary and complete translation exercises using new and old vocabulary.

At the end of every month, we will have a cumulative review class, where we devote the entire class to review materials covered in the past 3 classes. We will be using games and exercise to help reinforce the material. In addition to cases relating to the sequences, there will also be classes devoted to practicing physical exams in Mandarin.

5. How does learning medical mandarin help me now and in the future?

The field of medicine is all about accumulating tools now to better aid your future patients in your career as a physician. Knowledge of medical mandarin will only serve to benefit you when dealing with Chinese patients that have a limited ability to speak or understand English. It increases your vocabulary and speaking proficiency of Mandarin, and will only help to improve the doctor-patient relationship.

6. What opportunities are there for me to practice my Medical Mandarin outside of class?

Just like there are many opportunities to practice your doctoring skills outside of what we learn in school, there are many ways to practice your Medical Mandarin! We have an annual health fair that is run by UAAMSA, and Chinese speaking volunteers are always in need. Also, the health fairs run by other clubs and local organizations are also always looking for more volunteers, and your Chinese will only help if you need it. In addition, we have contact with Mrs. Jane Miller, who works with translator services with the University, so shadowing opportunities are also available for those who want to see Chinese being used in the clinic.

7. Who can I contact with my questions?

The coordinators can be reached jointly at uaamsamedchinese@umich.edu or individually at weixiag@med.umich.edu or stevenhs@med.umich.edu



© 2011 University of Michigan. UAAMSA at the University of Michigan is the University of Michigan's official Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association chapter.
For information about: the University of Michigan, please visit http://www.umich.edu; APAMSA, please visit http://www.apamsa.org; this webpage, please contact