Research and Advanced Education
Institute of Advance Training View of the Technical-Administrative Management Services
Division Head of the Institute of Advanced Training
The systematic scientific development and progressive technological advances verified in the area of medicine and related sciences over the last decades have made it essential to create new infrastructures in medical institutions that will allow health professionals to develop their professional skills and adapt their clinical practice to new procedures and ways of acting.
In this context, the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon (FMUL) continuing its policy of post-graduate training, set up since 1988/89 by the Bureau of Post-Graduate Studies (GEPOG), founded the Institute of Advanced Training (IFA), through Deliberation nº 1496/2001 of the 7th of September, which approved the creation of a Programme of Advanced Training at the FMUL with the aim of developing post-graduate training programmes and promoting continuous learning in the furthering of the academic and professional careers of doctors, researchers and other health professionals.
The IFA, under the direction of Professor J. Fernandes e Fernandes is currently a structure of intervention and institutional development within the organics of the FMUL, with a mission to develop and promote post-graduate training through the management and organization of courses leading to an academic degree (Masters and PhDs) and of continuous training course (refresher courses and improvement courses). It centres its field of action on the instruction, planning and accompanying of the pedagogical processes; on financial and technical-administrative management and logistical support, as well as on the development of plans for internal and external communication in order to divulge its activities and promote its courses, contributing efficiently and with rigour to the scientific and academic development of all the professionals connected to the health area that they wish to improve their skills throughout their lifetimes.
At the present moment, the IFA centralises its main activities on the level of the management of the Bureau of Masters and PhDs (GMD) and of the Bureau of Continuous Training (GFC), where it deals with all the responsibilities of organizing the Masters, PhD and Continuous Training courses, within an integrating and all-inclusive management process that begins at the initial phase of the creation of the courses (termed the instruction phase of the processes), where they are drawn up with the agreement of the course coordinators, the proposals for approval by the Scientific Council (and in the case of the Masters and PhD courses they are sent on for approval by the Chancellor’s Office/Senate/General Directorate of Higher Education) and goes to the phases of planning, divulging, accompanying student and teacher processes, and culminating in the final phase of concluding the courses, preparation of the defending of theses and emitting certificates of attendance.
Adapting the system to the Bologna process (through Decree-Law nº 74/2006 of the 24th of March, now re-published by the Decree-Law 107/2008 of the 25th of June) also brought an additional effort to the IFA team last year, in the sense of having to instruct the processes referring to the reorganization and adapting of the study cycles (2nd and 3rd cycle) according the new norms imposed by Bologna. Also created this year, were the PhD Programme in Neurosciences and the PhD Programme in Metabolic Diseases and Alimentary Behaviour) and the IFA also contributed logistical support to the Gulbenkian Programme for Advanced Medical Training.
For the 2008/2009 academic year the Bureau of Masters and PhDs (GMD) will be managing 20 Masters Courses (of which nine are new editions and/or re-editions started in October 2008) with a total of 635 students:
As for the prospects for the evolving of the IFA in the future, we would like to end with the personal views, expectations and motivations of the team which daily contributes with their work for the IFA to be developed and fulfil its mission of training better professionals in the area of health:
THE VIEW OF THE FUTURE OF THE IFA BY THE TEAM “The IFA has a long and varied experience at the service of post-graduate training students at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon. All of this acquired experience and all the effort made by our team, as well as our individual skills, allow us to take on a commitment with the quality needed to face up to future challenges: Innovate, Fortify and Adapt” (Patrícia Marçal)
“The Bureau of Continuous Training (GFC) is one of the Bureaus of the Institute of Advanced Training which has the aim of guaranteeing the planning, administrative accompaniment and procedural management of the post-graduate course that do not lead to an academic degree.
Beside the post-graduate courses, it is also called upon to administratively accompany other activities, such as workshops, congresses, symposia and conferences. According to the Bologna Process, it is important to re-think the administrative, pedagogical and scientific organization of the courses of the Bureau of Continuous Training” (Dora Ramos)
“The IFA in the FMUL is a teaching infrastructure with a necessary and relevant role of considerable interest for the academic and professional future of students and health professionals. With the adaptation to the Bologna Process, post-graduation is a great challenge in the future of continuous training. For this reason, there is a need to create greater diversity of courses with the capacity for dynamism and to attract the attention of the target public.” (Carla Guiomar)
“The creation of an administrative structure to guarantee and empower the functioning of the FMUL Advanced Training was a success in 2002. The human, technical and administrative maturing, along with the strategic and structural changes that the Bologna Process brought were central elements. In the future the IFA should promote its mission and strategic view within the FMUL in order to create value, both from the academic point of view and that of science, technology and innovation”. (António Santos)
“In a future prospect I would highlight three main points that are essential for a better contribution by the IFA as an important part of post-graduate training at the FMUL: the increase in post-graduation courses, namely 2nd and 3rd cycles (Masters and PhDs); the guaranteeing and supporting of the quality of these courses; and the reinforcing of the technical/administrative support structure, allowing it to provide a service with greater efficiency and efficacy for teachers and students” (Maria João Paulo)
“The IFA performs a catalysing role in the discovery and strengthening of the capacities suited to the research and development of knowledge in medicine, health sciences, behavioural sciences and biomedical sciences. Within the context of the institution we carry out a fundamental role for the development of teaching and science, and we contribute towards the continued improving of the professionals who are trained here. It is gratifying to be a part of this process and to accompany the evolution and academic and professional growth of so many students who have passed through here. A long path ahs been travelled, on which we have all learned, characterizing our mission, that learning should be continuous. At this moment we are dealing with the challenges imposed by the Bologna Process, by the demands of knowledge, by the daily emerging of new technologies that everyday oblige us to reinvent ourselves and adapt. For me this is the great challenge and mission of the future of the IFA: to consolidate, adapt, innovate and grow...” (Antónia Pereira)
“The IFA is a turning point in my personal and professional life project. A change I want to support because I like challenges that include innovation, creativity and constant learning, and this is a project in which all of these values will be used in their natural process of evolution, as a fruit of the changes imposed by the Bologna Process. I think that the challenge will be met successfully. Firstly because I believe in the people who make up the team and are with me in this project of change, as their experience allied to the commitment and high level of professionalism they possess are fundamental aspects in this victory. Secondly, I consider that the IFA, facing the challenges of the Bologna Process, now has a unique opportunity in its history to grow and mature all its potentialities developed over recent years, becoming a cornerstone between the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon as an academic centre of knowledge, the students who invest in lifetime training, and the emerging and constantly changing scientific and technological knowledge in the information society.
The IFA will without doubt contribute with its action, dynamism and innovation in methodologies and processes in order to achieve high standards of quality in the future offering of advanced training courses, bringing together the scientific quality of the contents with a the providing of integrated and centralised services. Greater attention will be paid to work in partnership with teachers and institutions of the same kind for the planning of new courses, the personalized support for each student in the simplification of bureaucratic processes and the optimisation of procedures, the recourse to technological means and methodologies of e-learning as a reinforcement of the internal and external means of communication and documental and bibliographic support in aiding the structuring of scientific works.
My view for the IFA in a future that I see as near is that it will be a high quality Institute of Advanced Training in the panorama of Portuguese medical-scientific teaching, planning, organizing and managing high quality post-graduate training courses, backed by a dynamic and motivated team that will contribute with professionalism and experience to achieve this excellence”. (Paula Saraiva)