This Is the Most Common Language Spoken by Doctors (Besides English and Spanish)

Just when you thought doctors couldn't get any more impressive.

MapCourtesy Natalie Wolfrom/DoximitySometimes, medical jargon may make it seem like your doctor is speaking in tongues. (Here’s how to decode what your doctor is saying!) Yet did you know that many physicians living in America today actually speak another language?

Doximity, an online social network for medical personnel, recently conducted a study revealing the most common second languages spoken by American doctors. Their survey revealed that many physicians working in America speak a language besides English. Of those, nearly half (45 percent) attended medical school outside of the USA.

Since communication with doctors is so incredibly important, Doximity assessed how the second languages of doctors compare with the languages spoken by their patients. Thirty-six percent of multilingual physicians speak Spanish, which aligns well with America’s large Spanish-speaking population. However, the other languages spoken by multilingual American doctors are a bit more surprising(Did you know that the three languages your child should learn for future success don’t include English or Spanish?)

Doximity compiled a map showing which language, besides English and Spanish, is the most common among doctors in each continental U.S. state. Looking at the map, you can see that Hindi is the most common by far, dominating the Midwest and much of the south. The Northwest is the domain of French-speaking doctors. Chinese, Arabic, Filipino, Greek, and German also appear. What language do the doctors in your state speak?

Next, learn the important medical facts your doctor wishes you knew.

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Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a Staff Writer for RD.com who has been writing since before she could write. She graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been writing for Reader's Digest since 2017. In spring 2017, her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine. She is a proud Hufflepuff and member of Team Cap.