Methodology

Syllabus Structure

This course, innovative in Portugal, is characterised by:

  • An integrated curriculum based on clinical problems covering the first three years
  • Close contact with clinical practice since the beginning of the course, with emphasis on General and Family Medicine in the first two years and Hospital Medicine in the last two years.
  • The possibility for students to generate a curriculum adapted to their interests through the Student Choice Module and a 10-week internship during their fourth year
  • A course designed on the basis of the experience of other universities worldwide. This sharing of the design and structure of the course was published in a collaborative scientific article between four universities

Clinical Problem-based Learning

The acquisition of theoretical knowledge of the basic sciences and clinical sciences is based on real clinical problems (method known as Problem-Based Learning - PBL) through two weekly tutorial sessions, of three hours each, in groups of eight students, each group assisted by a tutor. 

 

 

On UAlg’s integrated master in medicine (IMM), a close relationship with students is fostered, so that they participate actively in improving the course and its results. In this sense, every week, students have a briefing meeting with those responsible for the course. The meeting is planned around the timetable in order to allow all students to attend. Assessment is taken very seriously on the IMM, in order to ensure the high quality of our graduates. New students of the course are given a guide where they get to know in detail the course, the facilities and other useful information.

Briefing

Students meet weekly with the person in charge of the course in order to provide constant and participatory feedback on the functioning of the different modules, thus contributing to a continuous process of evaluation and improvement of the course.

Seminars

IMM-UAlg students have at their disposal a wide variety of seminars, which are linked to the timetable and programme contents of the other modules in order to ensure they can attend them and get the most out of them. These seminars are offered by specialists in the most diverse clinical areas, allowing students to:

  • Complement learning according to the programmes
  • Bridge potential knowledge gaps
  • Clarify any questions that arise during self-study

National and International Mobility

IMM-UAlg students are taught the importance of national and international mobility, which is achieved through two compulsory modules: Option (Elective) and Student Choice Module. This opportunity, which is unique in Portugal, allows students to have close contact with research and other medical realities.

Option (Elective)

In the optional (elective) module, the student performs an internship in clinical practice, usually abroad.

The aim is to give students a more in-depth view of an area of particular interest to them, to be carried out in facilities seen as benchmarks, either in Portugal or abroad. This must be done for a period of 8 weeks, in a medical specialty chosen by the student. In fact, most IMM-UAlg students have chosen to go abroad for this module (Europe and the rest of the world). Those who choose to stay in Portugal have been sent to facilities all over the country.

Student Choice Module (SCM)

In the Student Choice Module (carried out in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd years) the IMM-UAlg student conducts a basic laboratory research project and a clinical research project.

Types of Student Choice Module:

  • The Laboratory Research SCM (compulsory) aims to familiarise the future doctor with the basic scientific research process. It is objectively intended that the student elaborate a scientific question, apply one or more experimental techniques to answer that question and make a detailed analysis of the findings.
     
  • The Clinical Research SCM (compuslory) allows the future doctor to become familiarised with the research process in a clinical environment at different levels of care. This process should begin with the identification of a relevant clinical issue on which all research leading to a clinical study will take place. “Clinical study” means any clinical investigation based on a substantial amount of work involving aspects such as: observation, data collection, diagnosis or therapeutic intervention, in one or more patients/subjects. This notion includes but is not limited to clinical trials in the sense established by the European Union Directive (2001/20/EC)
  • The SCM Bibliographic Review allows the student to be introduced to one of the initial and fundamental tasks of clinical/laboratory research, as bibliographic research on a topic is part of the research process and the researchers' daily lives. In this SCM, students will have the opportunity to become acquainted with and use the main tools that allow them to obtain and organise the bibliography, select the most appropriate sources of references and learn to avoid the main mistakes made in a bibliographic search.

  • The Educational/Community Intervention SCM aims to allow future doctors to better understand their practice in the community as a whole, properly integrated and multifaceted in a community environment. The student must prepare an activity plan, implement it, analyse the findings and prepare an activity report. The IMM-UAlg course directors will be involved in this process, evaluating the project's added value and its integration in the course's mission

  • The Systematic Review SCM aims to encourage students to develop research projects, namely through the assessment of secondary data with systematic reviews and meta-analyses. During the academic year students are invited to participate in a project, preferably in a group, in which they perform a systematic review of a topic of their choice.

There is a strong link between the IMM-UAlg course and scientific research, since students are obliged to carry out research projects in the Student Choice Module. As a result of these research projects, several publications and communications resulted in congresses, in which our students are authors. 

In the basic research component there is a very close relationship between the course and the Biomedicine Research Centre (CBMR), where many of the course's teaching staff develop their projects. The high quality of the research carried out at the CBMR is evident in the high number of publications in international journals with a high impact index. These publications (from the period 2014-2016) that already have several collaborations with the IMM-UAlg (through research projects carried out by the students) are included in the last report of the CBMR external evaluation and monitoring committee.

Laboratories and equipment

In September 2009, the FCT and the University of Algarve signed a protocol to finance an equipment investment project (full list) for the development of scientific activities in a “Scientific Development Strategy for Medicine/Biomedicine at the University of Algarve.

The IMM-UAlg assessment system is based on several mechanisms that have already been tested and proven internationally:

  • Theoretical knowledge is evaluated in PPI tests (Personal Progress Index, McMaster), carried out simultaneously with other medical schools around the world. This widely validated international tool also allows a real and constant comparison of the results and progression of IMM-UAlg students with students from other international universities (see image below)
  • The theoretical knowledge acquired is further assessed through exams based on the course syllabus: Basic and Clinical Sciences (PBL tests). PPI tests are performed three times a year in all four years of the course, while PBL tests are performed three times a year in the first three years of the course.
  • Practical skills are assessed through OSCEs (Objective Strcutured Clinical Examinations) in all four years of the course
  • In the last two years of the course, students are also assessed in hospital setting by two additional mechanisms: CDBs (Case Based Discussions) and CEX (Mini clinical Evaluation Exercises)
IMM Chart

 

Documentos

Métodos de avaliação no mestrado integrado em Medicina
Regulamento de frequência e avaliação
Regulamento de revisão de classificações
 

Medical Education Unit

The Medical Education Unit (MEU) is a consultative and non-deliberative support unit of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Medicine of the University of Algarve, which works in collaboration with course directors, scientific and pedagogical commission, internal employees, external employees and students.

Organisation

The MEU is organised in three main areas: Pedagogy, Quality and Research.

Mission

The mission of this unit is to guarantee monitoring mechanisms at the levels of:

  • Pedagogical performance of guest lecturers through already existing internal quality and monitoring processes
  • Development of tools and other resources for the progressive improvement of the pedagogical process
  • Promotion of research in medical education, both at the level of results assessment and through modelling adjusted to the profiles of the actors in this model of medical education
  • Deferred follow-up of doctors who have already completed the Integrated Master and which is based, essentially, on the assessment of retention rates in the Algarve region and respective national georeferencing by specialty

 

MEU Regulation