After a pilot project in 2014, the UZIS project was launched officially in 2015. UZIS stands for UZ Interpreting Sessions and offers interpreting students as well as medical students (first-year master students) the opportunity to experience simulated, interpreted consultations with foreign language-speaking patients. Plenary sessions are held prior to the simulated consultations. The interpreting students receive more information on medical consultations and the code of ethics of general practitioners, while medical students learn more about the practices and code of ethics of interpreters. This way, both groups are introduced to each other’s profession.

The simulated consultations are held twice a year at the Ghent University Hospital (UZ Gent) and are interpreted from Dutch into seven other languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Turkish and Russian) and vice versa. The simulated patients understand little to no Dutch, which makes for a very realistic situation. In order to prepare for their roles, the simulated patients are given a scenario containing all the information about their condition and personal background.

The UZIS project has gradually become a mandatory part of both courses and receives wonderful feedback every year.


Read more:

  • Van De Walle, C., & Van Praet, E. (2015). Tolken opleiden voor de gezondheidssector: een nieuw spoor. Over taal, 100–102.
  • Krystallidou, D., Van De Walle, C., Deveugele, M., Dougali, E., Mertens, F., Truwant, A., Van Praet, E., et al. (2018). Training “doctor-minded” interpreters and “interpreter-minded” doctors : the benefits of collaborative practice in interpreter training. INTERPRETING20(1), 127–144.
  • Van De Walle, C., Defrancq, B., Deveugele, M., & Van Praet, E. (2019). Communicative hurdles in multilingual interpreter-mediated consultations : what trainee data teach us. INTERPRETER AND TRANSLATOR TRAINER.