More And Better
The steps and moments on the path of a GAPIC Alumni
Institutional anniversaries are full of pose and formality, but there are many stories hidden within them, the people who support them and the reflections they provide. These 30 years of GAPIC deserve it and are full of these stories; I had the privilege and the opportunity to count myself among them.
More than two decades ago, I participated as a medical student in more than one edition of undergraduate scientific research support programmes. I went from the Delta-Notch pathway with Professor Domingos Henrique to late literate cognition with Professor Castro-Caldas. Many years later I became a paediatrician, teacher and clinical researcher interested in the respiratory system and methodological field, from clinical trials to meta-analysis. Confused? Maybe. But I can attest that the impact of the undergraduate scientific course has gone well beyond just one more item in a premature curriculum, area, technique or specific method. In this path, like in so many others, the same basic principles apply: genuine concern for the unresolved question, the imperative need for a better understanding, a risky venture through a different approach.
Years later, I was able to repay what they've done for my career, as a member of a GAPIC team that with efficient overview, commitment and enthusiasm ensures the continuity of these happy milestone anniversaries. In fact, the extent of these 30 years is mind-blowing in terms of supported students and projects. But perhaps it's the small details that make the biggest differences in defining a scientific path. Much has been discussed, written and analysed about the doctor-researcher crisis, particularly in a country where clinical research, from its broader perspective, never seems to be settled. I'm aware of how lost students may feel between academic demands and long-term welfare challenges, and that a constantly evolving science of complexity and interdisciplinarity may seem increasingly distant and impenetrable.
But for the many of us who believe, or even better, who see from the evidence, the crucial importance of research in present and future medicine, those basic principles remain solid. These are the principles that GAPIC embraces, and which its founders, mentors, trainers and experts have been able to provide. I've seen many colleagues opening horizons and taking the first steps towards brilliant careers. Others, more discreet in their journey, certainly remember Research Day as the high point of a different experience. We're commemorating half a century of the first steps in the lunar world, a celebration of the triumphs of science and technology whose influence, paradoxically, has never seemed so threatened to me. It is worth highlighting how such “small steps” at key moments can decisively define individual trajectories.
Professor Ricardo Fernandes