Isabel Palmeirim, thank you and see you later

«I know that when you talk about garlic, the current CHUA administration responds with garlic»

Isabel Palmeirim – Photo: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação (file)

There are people with special skills who put themselves so completely into what they do that it becomes obvious that passion and magnificent results can coexist. And you, Isabel, have this gift.

I won't speak in an impartial way, since I've been following some of your career for a long time, especially that of leading the Medicine Course at the University of Algarve.

Do you remember, the medical course in the Algarve, then created, was like a kind of bizarre thing in the eyes of many? Okay, the course had been created according to innovative criteria among us, but long established in civilized countries and, perhaps because of this innovative nature, it quickly became the subject of the most absurd comments.

Of course, let’s not be naïve, there was an underlying understanding: “since when are these guys from the Algarve able to take a medical course?” It's just that, if it worked, many other things would remain open. And the course worked.

I followed the course process from the beginning. Even when Prof. José Ponte shook the waters, saying that it would be a pole of attraction for other competences, at the time, we, practitioners of medicine in the Algarve, felt this as provocative, since it could incorporate a disqualifying reading.

But, always with that attitude of those who shouldn't, don't fear, we kept our hopes up and, in the third year of the course, when the first students started to pass through the hospitals, from the beginning it was immediately clear that we would be training remarkable clinicians! What is clear today. Let's say it with all the letters: the doctors trained at the University of the Algarve are very good!

Isabel Palmeirim: much of the formatting of the course has your finger. But what I definitely think is also worth giving you a lion's share of is this excellent qualification currently awarded to the course. I know it's not like you to tiptoe, but let me remind you that, more than my personal impressions, there are some elements that are yours:

– Creation of a clinical academic center, the Algarve Biomedical Center (ABC), whose intense activity we are all proud of;

– Creation of a Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Algarve, already offering training at the 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycles;

– Creation of the research centre, the ABC-Research Institute, already with a record in attracting funding;

– Creation of a Doctoral Program in Clinical Investigation and Translational Medicine, allowing, for the first time, the local training of doctoral doctors;

– Creation of a Postgraduate Course in Fundamentals of Medicine for researchers from the Champalimaud Foundation, favoring the translation of science in Portugal;

– Creation of a postgraduate course in Humanitarian Action, totally unprecedented in Portugal;

– Creation of a Continuous Training Plan for health professionals, essential for the postgraduate updating of health professionals;

– Signing of a new Program Contract with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education and with the municipalities of the Algarve region, with a consequent increase in the number of training vacancies in the Integrated Masters in Medicine from 48 to 96 in 2025.

– Creation of the Clinical Simulation Center that places the Algarve on the map of Portuguese medical training at postgraduate level;

Knowing this and what other elements exist, naturally the projection that the medical course at the University of Algarve has currently achieved will not come as a surprise.

The remarkable detachment that you showed, when you slammed the door with your resignation, in the face of what is at stake, shows a seriousness that is yours.

Naturally, the medical course needs hospitals in the Algarve. I know very well that when you talk about garlic, the current CHUA administration responds with bugs. And here we are diminishing, with this state where things are.

What better analogy could there be than the one we are currently seeing in the media, where a minister “technically” did not lie since he was not asked about a meeting, but only spoke about the other? Has it not yet been seen that we are not going there? I don't know if it's because I'm currently out of the country on vacation that I'm going to sharpen this sense of intolerance for the stupidity that still prevails.

Isabel Palmeirim, with that simplicity that you manage to transmit to the complexity of the tasks to be carried out (I am well aware that there is a silly simplicity of someone who does not understand anything of what he is talking about and another, remarkable one, that comes from the perfect mastery of the subjects) and that I see in your life, allow me to foresee that I will be able to say to you: “See you later, Isabel!”.

This “see you later”, as any Algarvean knows, doesn’t have to be around the next bend. Excuse me for this possible “paternalism” of, being from the Algarve, intending to give explanations for a more complete understanding, but as you know, with us, time has its time and, sometimes, this is so clear that it does not even have to be said very high. Hug.


Author Daniel Cartucho is a physician, general surgeon at the Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve (CHUA)


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