Mt. Sinai St. Luke Hospital

Medical Interpreting Through the Eyes of Sara Garvi

Sara Garvi (MACI, Candidate 2017) is a sworn translator and interpreter (English >< Spanish, French > Spanish). She graduated from the University of Alicante (Spain) in 2013 with a degree in Translation and Interpretation. Upon graduation, she was appointed sworn translator and interpreter by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and worked as a freelance medical interpreter at several hospitals in Spain. Sara moved to the US in 2014 to join the Spanish Department at Illinois College, where she taught for three semesters while working with the local Hispanic community to develop their written and spoken English.
This summer Sara completed two medical interpretation internships in different hospitals (Stanford Healthcare and Mt. Sinai Hospital) and eventually decided to get officially certified by the National Certification Commission of Healthcare Interpreters to pursue a career in Medical Interpretation and Translation. I interviewed Sara to learn about her summer experience and takeaways.
Sara Garvi MA Conference Interpretation 2017 Spanish/English Stanford Healthcare (California, U.S.A.) Mount Sinai St. Luke Hospital (New York, U.S.A.)
Sara Garvi
MA Conference Interpretation 2017 Spanish/English

Q1: What were your top 3 criteria as you selected your internship(s)?

  • Does it offer me the possibility to practice interpreting?
  • Will it have a practical use in my future career track?
  • Is it paid? (I feel like at this point we should all be compensated for our work!)

Q2: What did you learn about your field during your internship?

I learned that real life is not as stressful and demanding as at MIIS. In class, your peers comment on your performance in order to provide you with constructive criticism, whereas in real-life situations there are no peers, just the goal of making communication possible.

Q3: What did you learn about yourself during your internshipSara Garví ?

I learned that I am more hardworking than I thought! I think that once you find what you like, it doesn’t feel like work or duty anymore, so you truly begin to enjoy the extra hours and all the effort and dedication put into preparing to be a better professional.

Q4: From the employers’ perspective what does a good intern look like?

A good intern is always willing to cooperate and turns every little thing into a learning opportunity. A good intern is someone who goes the extra mile when something needs to be done and who shows a positive attitude to make the work environment more manageable for everyone.

Q5: Any words of wisdom you would like to share?

In the medical interpretation field, you never know enough; so, constant research and preparation are very important! It is extremely challenging in terms of terminology, emotionally draining in terms of your daily interaction with patients… but it is one of the most rewarding and human professions I know.

Winnie Heh
Career & Academic Advisor