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A mother and her child are waiting for their two-year checkup at East Tennessee State University’s pediatric clinic when José Zepeda and a resident pediatrician enter the room.
“How’s our little girl?” said the doctor.
“¿Cómo está la niña?” said Zepeda.
“Muy bien!” said the mother of the child in question.
“She is very well,” said Zepeda to the doctor, glancing at the little girl with a smile.
The mother does not speak English and the doctor does not speak Spanish, but the seemingly endless questionnaire of things like, “How many servings of fruits and vegetables does she eat per day?” goes over with ease.
“There is an art to interpreting,” said Zepeda, a certified medical interpreter at ETSU Pediatrics. “My job is to help two people who cannot communicate with each other come together and be able to care for this child. That is why I love doing this.”