Since the beginning of August, the Lisbon School of Medicine has been reinforcing practical classes in a hospital and laboratory environment, for its Medical and Nutrition students.
Spread across different clinical areas, medical students can thus strengthen their practice in the Emergency Room and in consultation, integrated into a tailored programme that includes Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Surgery and Psychiatry. Nutrition students, on the other hand, may have the same experience in a laboratory environment.
The goal is to address potential gaps from a period of pandemic that physically alienated students from the institution. This fact meant that students who were waiting for the clinical years to strengthen medical practice had not the opportunity to do so.
Maria José Diógenes, Professor of Pharmacology at FMUL, explained, in an interview to TVI 24, that “this is one of the many opportunities for these young students to strengthen their clinical practice with patients”. Aware of a turbulent period that physically distanced students from the Faculty, as well as from the Hospital, it was decided to open the holiday period to an extended phase of learning and practice. "We are offering students training areas as a complement, in which each student may or may not participate in the activities, in addition to what they have already learned throughout the academic year”.
The classes consist of the practical implementation of what has been learned in theory. Estela Flambó, one of the Faculty's students, explains that this is the most objective way to “get your hands on and apply knowledge”. Despite not fully resolving the gaps presented after another year of distance learning, having these summer sessions is a “great contribution” to the development of learning.
The practical classes take place throughout the summer and had strong support from students who insist on reinforcing that their quality is not threatened by their absence in hospital areas.
Prepared by the Pedagogical Council and coordinated by its President, Professor Joaquim Ferreira, the Medical and Laboratorial Training Plan was conceived in partnership with the Department of Medical Education (DEM) and the Student Association (AEFML). Santa Maria Hospital (CHULN – Northern Lisbon University Hospital Centre) and the Faculty could not be more aligned with the implementation of these sessions “in an emergency environment that is very conducive to learning, especially in the face of acute illness”, as explained by Anabela Oliveira, FMUL Professor and Director of Santa Maria’s Emergency Department.
After drawing up a work plan for medical tutors and students, each Tutor takes on 1 or more students in their clinical activities. This dynamic thus allows the monitoring to be included in the routines of clinical and laboratory practice.
The presence in the Emergency Department of students who are part of Medicine and Surgery teams will allow them to work for periods of 4 hours in the late afternoon and evening (during the week) and throughout the day on weekends.
The pandemic affected a total of 3 academic semesters and if the change in the academic agenda seemed at first to be just something negative, it also allowed opening new doors for solutions, dynamization and learning, such as the summer medical sessions.