Luísa Pires and Pedro Mendes are part of a team of several people who worked behind the scenes of the OSCEs. Without them this day would have never been possible. Luísa has worked at the FMUL for 30 years and Pedro for 17 years. I did not know them personally and it was the first time I met them, but from the first exchange of emails it was clear how easy it is to get in touch with them and how willing they are to cooperate with the new challenges that are proposed to them.
During 3 weeks, Luísa took part in several meetings with Professor Diogo Ayres de Campos and coordinated the team that dealt with all the logistics of the OSCEs. She was chosen because she had already had contact with the preparation of the OSCEs in the former 4th year of Neurology. While they were preparing the day, Pedro said that Luísa was the right person for this job, "besides being a very calm person, she transmits a sense of tranquility like no one else does. Luísa has a completely zen attitude and doesn't get worked up about anything.”
On OSCEs day, Luísa organises the team in order to define, for example, who calls the students, who tells them to leave their personal belongings in the lockers, who sees if support is needed to distribute the teachers and help switch on the tablets, until they realise that everything is ready to start. It's a long day, starting at 8am and finishing at 8pm.
"I've been here a long time and the work ends up being very repetitive and this is a new challenge. It's rewarding to know that we've played our part, however small, in making it all work. In the end, we feel like we've done our part and we've done our best. It is rewarding to be in this process of change in 4th grade teaching", Luísa mentioned. She also added, "we were already doing OSCE in Neurology with only 3 stations. In my opinion, I think it is a good method because it will make that teaching is renewed. I had an information session with an American Professor, and they have been applying this type of assessment there for 20 years."
This team’s tasks consisted of sticking direction arrows on the floor, organising and distributing the tablets, scheduling pilot tests, making the list of students and, according to Luísa, the success of this organisation was only possible thanks to the help of everyone involved: Aldina Tavares, Alexandra Teixeira, Ana Tavares, Anabela Pirão, Diogo Almeida, Dora Gonçalves, Gonçalo Sanches, Nuno Rodrigues, Patrícia Marçal, Paula Belmonte, Paula Gomes, Pedro Marçal, Raquel Mendes, Rui Fonseca, Vasco Leal and Vivelinda Guerreiro.
Pedro was Luísa's right-hand man, cooperating in the field with any tasks that came up. Halfway through the interview with Luisa, her phone rang and Pedro immediately said: "I'll answer it, just sit there Luisa". He also had the main responsibility for organising the catering, because some lecturers were at the Centre for Advanced Medical Technology (CTMA) all day.
"I don’t work with 4th year subjects and it is the first time that an OSCE exam of this size takes place in the college. I didn't feel obliged to participate in this organisation, I felt it was my mission to accompany them in whatever was necessary, both Luísa and Professor Diogo Ayres de Campos, with whom I work at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology University Clinic", said Pedro.
The atmosphere during all the preparation of the circuits is very relaxed and organised. Everyone knows their role and they cooperate with each other. Professor Diogo Ayres de Campos circulated around the space and asked for some tasks, always with a very calm tone of voice.
Behind the scenes of this great event are Cristiano Tavares, Biomedical Engineer and responsible for the CTMA simulators, and the audiovisual team, Bruno Santos and Paulo Caeiro, coordinated by João Godinho.
In the control room, the audiovisual team ensures the voiceover, recorded by Professor Diogo Ayres de Campos, which instructs the students to enter and exit the 10 stations. They can simultaneously follow what is happening in the circuits, "although the Centre is prepared for much more than this in terms of multimedia", mentioned João Godinho.
According to João, “the space is prepared to transmit in any streaming platform, making it possible to have a training session in CTMA and at the same time be followed in another part of the world”.
Cristina Bastos | Leonel Gomes