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Bilingual Doctor ShortageA few years ago, while loading discarded construction materials onto a truck, Jesus Antonio Lara Cuellar fell and hit his head. He injured his back too, but it was his fractured wrist that landed him in a Houston emergency room. Lara, from El Salvador, couldn’t string together enough English words to explain what had happened. The attending physician’s command of Spanish was no better, and there were no interpreters available to help the conversation along.“He asked me some questions. I said ‘yes, yes, yes,’ and ‘no’ to some things, but I didn’t know what he was asking me,” Lara told me recently, in Spanish. The doctor administered several injections, and then, without warning—or at least none Lara had understood—proceeded to yank at his arm, causing…

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