In the Name of Cohesion based on a Common Historical Past, Principles and Shared Experiences
J. Martins e Silva
Chairman of the General Assembly of AAAFML
On the occasion of the swearing in of the members of the governing bodies of the Alumni Association of the Faculty of Medicine of Lisbon (AAAFML) for the three-year period that is now beginning, the Faculty Director Professor Fernandes e Fernandes invited me to write a brief note about the event for this Newsletter, which I do with pleasure.
As I reflected about the topic, I remembered to read what I had written, then as Director of FML, in the editorial of the first issue of the Journal Alumni Forum published in the autumn of 2000. I was surprised to see that I could publish that piece again today without its content becoming out of date. Therefore, I decided to pick up on the content of two paragraphs of the aforesaid editorial as the core point of the present text.
In the first paragraph, I advocated the importance of the new publication, “which will bring us together in close contact, regardless of the distance separating us and of where we are”. In the second, I predicted that “the creation of the AAA will also give us the strength of reason due to the union it fosters, and which will be necessary to resist the degradation of the core values of medicine and, additionally, to enable a sustained evolution at the highest levels of human and professional achievements.” Taken together, both excerpts intended to underline the importance of the union between older and new medical graduates from the same institution, FML.
Going a bit further, the core of that message must be perceived as an appeal for renewed and continued affections, friendship and emotions experienced during undergraduate medical training between successive generations of those who studied, experienced and shared ideas and objectives for a substantial part of their lives at their Medical School. As I see it, the richness of such experience should not be destroyed or played down by the diversification of professional or private interests, which is part of the path followed by each of the former students of FML. Quite the opposite!
Like the continuum of medical education, where the learning started at faculties of medicine must be pursued throughout a professional career full of pitfalls, as everybody knows only too well, I believe that the experience initiated in the amphitheatres, laboratories and wards of FML should undergo a similar evolution during the postgraduate period and contribute to the so-called “esprit de corps”. More than a common training at the same institution, my desire contemplates fraternity, camaraderie, the awareness of sharing the same mission, the same principles and traditions, and a similar centennial experience. These are the aspects that need to be nurtured.
In this perspective, with the support, will and adherence of doctors graduated at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon, the AAAFML will fully address all the challenges and be a factor of cohesion and an enhancer of the qualities, goals, and experiences lived by different generations with a shared identity and principles, thus contributing to the growth and academic and professional prestige of their medical school.