Introduction to Medicine


At the end of this Curricular Unit, students should be able to:

  1. Describe the organization of the National Health System, levels of actuation and different stakeholders
  2. Identify the specific characteristics of medical practice and understand the role of doctors in todays’ society
  3. Justify the importance of doctor-patient relationship
  4. Identify the importance of team work – multidisciplinary team and intersectorial cooperation
  5. Demonstrate the ability to discuss the major goals of medicine, the different components of promotion / prevention, treatment and rehabilitation
  6. Demonstrate the skills necessary for organization, systematization and transmission of knowledge in medicine.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Prof. Doutor João Raposo


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





·         B. Alder, M. Porter, C. Abraham, E. Van Teijlingen, M. Porter. Psychology and Sociology applied to Medicine. An Illustrated Colour Text. 3rd edition. Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier, 2009

·         R. Wilkinson & M.Marmot (Eds). Social determinants. The solid facts. WHO, Geneva, 2003.

·         Rui Mota Cardoso. Competências Clínicas de Comunicação. Faculdade de Medicina do Porto.

Teaching method

Teaching is conducted through lectures and visits to health services. Students will be divided in groups of 3-4 persons.

Lectures will be organized in a model of a short presentation followed by an interview by the students. Each set of 2 groups will be responsible for conducting an interview and write a resumée of this topic (including a proposal for questions for the evaluation).


The health service visits will be made in groups of 3-4 students. Each group will spend ten mornings in a health service. The main goal of the visits will be to follow the tasks of different services of health institutions on the perspectives of non-medical professionals and of the patients. Each group will have to submit a critical appraisal report of the visit, according to a previously defined template.

Evaluation method

The assessment is made through the combination of:

·         Assiduity - 10%

·         Report of the lectures - 20%

·         Reports of visit to health services - 30%

·         Written Examination - 40%

The assiduity will be valued, and will make up 10% of the final grade.

Attending the visits contributes to achieve the educational objectives proposed. For that reason, the portion of the final grade that corresponds to the assiduity is proportional to the number of presences in visits, therefore, there will be no default regime for the students that don’t have minimal of attendance (2/3 of total).

The exam includes multiple choice questions.

Subject matter

  1. Objectives of medicine
    1. Prevention and treatment of diseases, rehabilitation of patients, health promotion
  2. Determinants of health
    1. Causality and disease
    2. Genetic and environmental factors
    3. Social determinants
  3. Great issues of modern medicine
    1. Medicine, science and technology, medical care and economic factors; medicine and globalization
  4. Practice of medicine
    1. The doctor and clinical practice; health research and health policies
    2. Preparation for the medical profession
  5. Introduction to preparation of reports and scientific papers
  6. Introduction to doctor-patient relationship
  7. Health services organization
  8. The role of patient organizations and family


Programs where the course is taught: