Intercultural Mediation in Healthcare:

From the Professional Medical Interpreters’ Perspective.

by Izabel E. T. de V. Souza, Ph.D.



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 8/12/2016

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 352
ISBN : 9781524512729
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 352
ISBN : 9781524512736
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 352
ISBN : 9781524512712

About the Book

Cultural differences pose certain complexities to the work of medical interpreters. They face unique, and sometimes conflicting demands from healthcare providers, culturally diverse patients, and their healthcare organizations. It is important for this topic to be explored from the professional interpreter’s perspective, as they are the ultimate experts of their own practice. Their accounts point to the fact that intercultural mediation is an integral and important part of their work, and that the vast majority of interpreters worldwide is practicing it competently and responsibly. Intercultural Mediation in Healthcare showcases the results of an international doctoral study exploring the perspectives of 458 interpreter practitioners from 25 different countries. The book reveals the intricacies of how interpreters are bridging cultural gaps between providers and patients, with data compiled and cross-referenced from four different sources. Academic research and published standards of practice for the profession were reviewed and analyzed. Interpreters were ultimately given a voice to describe this important component of their work. According to medical interpreters, they play a significant role in intercultural communication mediation: a role that goes well beyond being a linguistic conduit. A deeper understanding of what intercultural mediation is, and what it isn’t, is essential not only to interpreters, but also to other related stakeholders: educators, researchers, administrators, and policy makers, or anyone who wishes to better understand where interpreters fit in the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

About the Author

Izabel E. T. de V. Souza, MEd, CMI-S, PhD Dr. Souza (formerly Arocha), MEd, CMI-Spanish, PhD, is an intercultural communication expert with over thirty years of experience. Dr. Souza has worked as a translator, a certifi ed interpreter (conference, legal, medical, escort, religious), a language professor, a language testing expert, an interpreting/translation educator, and an expert witness on issues related to language access and profi ciency and translation and interpretation services. Dr. Souza is the health committee chair of the National Language Access Coalition and the Florida Language Access Coalition Chapter. She is also on the editorial board of BABEL, the academic journal of the International Federation of Translators (FIT). She is a passionate global advocate for language access as a human right and has published articles on language services reimbursement (US), interpreter education, and other related topics. Her teaching experience spans Boston University, Cambridge College, Osaka University, and Bridging the Gap. She serves the advisory board of Miami Dade College. Dr. Souza served as president and executive director of the International Medical Interpreters Association, or IMIA (, and is one of two founders of the National Board of Certifi cation for Medical Interpreters. Dr. Souza also served as secretary general for the International Federation of Translators, or FIT (, an organization representing over a hundred associations worldwide. As the head of the FIT delegation to the International Standards Organization, or ISO, and as an ISO and ASTM Standards delegate in SC5 and F43 committees respectively, she participates in the development of interpreting and translation standards. Her research involves interpreter competencies, certifi cation, language access systems, cultural competency and humility, and intercultural mediation in health care. She has received numerous awards for her work. Fluent in French, Portuguese, and Spanish, she obtained her certifi cate in translation in 1981 from the University of Cambridge, UK; a bachelor’s degree in management from Lesley University; a master’s degree in education from Boston University; and a PhD in interpreting from Osaka University, Japan. She was born in Australia and lived in Belgium, Spain, Japan, Mexico, former Yugoslavia, and Brazil, prior to moving to the United States. She currently lives in Miami Beach, Florida, and has a private consulting practice at