Effective Use of Medical Interpreters in a Neuropsychological Evaluation

Thursday, April 25, 2019
12:00pm - 1:30pm Eastern time
1.5 CE Credits


Presented by:
Margaret Lanca, Ph.D.
Director of Adult Neuropsychology and Psychological Testing and Training, Cambridge Health Alliance
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Although there is a general consensus in neuropsychology that “best practice” for evaluating patients with limited English proficiency is to have bilingual/bicultural neuropsychologists, there are instances when this ideal is not attainable.  With the rise of multicultural evaluations in our profession, many neuropsychologists are using medical interpreters.  Interpreters both facilitate and pose challenges to an assessment.  This webinar will describe a framework for using interpreters most effectively within a culturally-informed neuropsychological evaluation and avoiding common pitfalls that can negatively impact an evaluation.  Topics of effective interpreter use at each stage of an assessment will be presented, highlighting general constraints of a multicultural assessment and how they interface with interpreter use.  A brief interview with an experienced medical interpreter for neuropsychological testing will provide practical insights for improving interpreter preparation and skill-level for neuropsychological evaluations.

After the webinar, participants will be able to:

  1. Outline considerations for electing to use a medical interpreter in a neuropsychological evaluation.
  2. Describe elements of culturally-informed assessments and how interpreters interface within the cultural context.
  3. Discuss effective strategies and common pitfalls of interpreter use at each stage of an assessment.

Target Audience: Clinical neuropsychologists and neuropsychology trainees

Instructional Level:

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Registration closes 30 minutes prior to the live presentation.


Dr. Maggie Lanca is the Director of Adult Neuropsychology and Psychological Testing and Training at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) in Cambridge Massachusetts and Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  At Cambridge Health Alliance, Maggie directs the neuropsychology service and oversees training of the neuropsychology intern and postdoctoral fellows.  She teaches in the Psychiatry department and she frequently lectures at Harvard Medical School on neuropsychology.  Her teaching reflects her interests and specialties in cross-cultural neuropsychology.  Her clinical and teaching scholarship has focused neuropsychological assessment patients of different ethnicities and languages and she frequently conducts assessments in Portuguese, her native language.  She has spoken nationally and published on cross-cultural neuropsychology.  In addition to her academic and clinical work, Maggie is committed to the advancement of our field and has been involved in professional advocacy for psychology through various committees and boards.  She is currently the President of the Massachusetts Psychological Association and Past President of the Massachusetts Neuropsychological Society.