Final lesson by Professor Maria Luisa Figueira - 31st October
The Evolution of Paradigms in Clinical Psychiatry
Professor Maria Luisa Figueira delivered her final lesson at the Main Auditorium of the Faculty of Medicine on 31st October. The lesson entitled "The Evolution of Paradigms in Clinical Psychiatry", explored the importance of strong connections between research and clinical practice.
"It's a very special day in a long career that has allowed me to experience many rewarding moments. My career has permitted me to learn a lot, participate in cutting edge research and transmit the knowledge obtained to others, both in the classroom and through scientific articles" declared Professor Figueira.
Looking back she stressed the positive impact the eclectic perspective of the specialist Barahona Fernandes had on her work and recalled the panic she felt at her first medical consultation: "I was at the end of my intern year when I replaced the psychiatrist, Fragoso Mendes, at Júlio de Matos hospital. The weight of responsibility was very great, but I was up to the challenge."
In his speech on the occasion, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the North Lisbon Hospital Center (NLHC), Dr. Carlos Neves Martins, emphasised Professor Figueira’s unique clinical and academic career, "everything Professor Figueira achieved came from her dedication to the mission at hand and the way she has always worked, employing the following techniques: active listening, focusing on innovation approaches and a sharing among peers".
These qualities were also recognized by Professor Daniel Sampaio, current Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at NLHC, defining Professor Figueira as a "world authority in research and treatment of bipolar disorder". Professor Sampaio welcomed the fact that Professor Figueira will continue to offer a weekly bipolar disorder consultation in the service.
The Dean of FMUL, Professor José Fernandes e Fernandes, also felt "honored" to deliver the FMUL’s medal of merit "to one who has contributed so much to the quality of Mental Health care, both in clinical and academic terms." He characterised Professor Figueira as a person "with a quiet competence, extensive knowledge both at a scientific and humanistic level, dedicated to patients, and with an interest in teaching and research."
Professor Figueira has been very active in research, particularly on psychopathology and psychopharmacology, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (she co-authored the World Societies’ Federation of Biological Psychiatry’s guidelines on bipolar disorder), psycholinguistics, cognitive models and phenomenology. She also studied the relationship between the work of creative artists and psychopathology but, she advised, without seeking causal relationships. She taught psychopathology, neurophysiology, neuropsychology, cognitive psychology and the psychophysiology of language. However, she admitted, "clinical practise is the most important aspect of all my activity. I have witnessed the increasing importance of psychiatry within medicine. "
Launch of the Handbook on Clinical Psychiatry
This volume was launched on the occasion of the retirement of Professor Maria Luisa Figueira. Published by Lidel and sponsored by Servier, it brings together contributions from 32 experts. The project was coordinated by Professor Maria Luisa Figueira, Professor Daniel Sampaio, current director of the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health in NLHC), and Professor Pedro Afonso, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon.