Back in 2001, when I was hiking on China’s Silk Road, I learned a lot about language barriers. As a traveler, you quickly realize the huge difference between studying language in a classroom and using it in a complicated, real-life situation. I survived (with a close call or two), and I’ve forgotten most of my Mandarin – but I haven’t forgotten the sense of confusion and alienation I felt when I just couldn’t make myself understood.
Now consider this number: 37 million. That’s how many Spanish speakers there are in the USA. Every day, 12 percent of Americans work, play, live, and dream en español. But what about their health? How can Spanish speakers quickly and reliably find healthcare providers who share their native language? And if they can’t, how can they make sure their doctors clearly understand their concerns, and communicate the proper treatment in an intelligible way?
Unsurprisingly, studies show that Hispanic patients feel less well understood by their doctors, and are twice as likely to leave a doctor’s office with unasked questions. Research also shows that language barriers can cause patients to delay important preventive care, and even more acute health issues.
This just isn’t good enough. At ZocDoc, we believe that you deserve great healthcare, regardless of the language you speak. That’s why today, in one of my company’s proudest moments to date, I’m thrilled to announce the launch of ZocDoc en Español! This Spanish-language version of our service will make it simple for tens of millions of Spanish-speaking patients to find doctors and book appointments instantly, both online and via smartphone.
From the day of ZocDoc’s founding in 2007, our mission has been to improve access to healthcare. ZocDoc en Español is a small step toward empowering every patient to get the fast, simple, and convenient care you need. On behalf of the whole ZocDoc team, let me be the first to say ¡bienvenidos a ZocDoc!