The School of Medicine of the University of Minho is, essentially, a community of people. Community means living together in communion and communion means common-union. What is the bond that makes people who live (and not merely coexist) on School of Medicine a community? It is the fact that, in the diversity of their own functions, all contribute (so each contributes) so that the School fulfills its mission: the defense of the quality of people’s life.

This mission is accomplished by performing different functions, which, in this school, are interrelated, giving and receiving from each other.

The ways in which EM/UM accomplishes its mission is diverse and includes a contribution to the:

a) generation of knowledge in biomedicine (including its biological, psychological and sociological dimensions);

b) application of knowledge in the identification, interpretation and solution of conditions affecting the quality of life, on a personal, family, work, social and public level;

c) initial training, further training, retraining and upgrading of healthcare professionals;

d) development of a personal and collective consciousness about health, its value and its duty of defending and developing it, and, in addition, to express effective solidarity and humaneness.

At the  the School of Medicine all these functions are achieve by a common effort, although with different emphasis by each individual, according to his/her major duties:

• Research Function: an emphasis in a);

• Training Function: an emphasis in c);

• Community service Function: an emphasis on b) and d).

A final word, especially directed to the young people who are undecided about the course of Medicine in which they may eventually sign up:

Long ago, a journalist who visited  the School of Medicine , asked me at the end:

-"You know what impressed me the most?"

And she immediately added without even giving me time to answer:

-" It was the fact of just having met happy people. "If you like to become a doctor, and want to learn how to become one amongst happy people, join us.

Joaquim Pinto Machado