The reason for the existence of the School of Medicine exceeds by far the size of another School of the University of Minho and another Medical School in the country. The keyword that characterizes it is innovation that has guided its entire design and development.

The year 2007 was the end of the first stage of the project of creation of the the School of Medicine at the University of Minho. On the 8th of October took place the graduation ceremony of the first 50 graduates at the medical school of the University of Minho, to which the inauguration of the school building and possession of the elected President and Vice-Presidents has been associated. The School, within eight years after the beginning of its installation, is proud to be the holder of a project, based on criteria of innovation and quality comparable to the best Medical Schools at the international level. These bases of innovation, stands out as the school development paradigms, and multidisciplinary integration, expressed at various levels, namely (i) the absence of the traditional subdivision of Schools Departments; (ii) the functional organization - multidisciplinary and integrated - of the facilities, laboratories and services - present from the temporary facilities and which achieves its full expression in the new building; (iii) the organization of teaching/learning, research, and particularly the links between education and research; (iv) the articulation between the School and all the Health Services. A culture of evaluation is institutionalized at the school at many levels, through internal mechanisms for monitoring and self-assessment, concurrently with the active participation of external evaluation instruments. We point out in this regard, the assessment by teams of international experts, evaluation of teachers with reference to career development and annual evaluation of the program by the students.

As a whole the results achieved constitute a strong incentive for our School of the Future. At the moment, the main challenge is the sustainability of good practices implemented in a very different context, particularly in size. The quality and relevance of the conceptions, the plannings and methodologies are undoubtedly indispensable. To be adequately covered the tracing paths, are essential the right people: competent, dedicated, with a taste for education, which also helps to learn "to be". The great wealth of this school lies in people: teachers, researchers, students and staff, and all those belonging to other schools of the University of Minho, the other universities, research institutes, hospitals and health centers have collaborated in teaching the medical school. All these actors, for their commitment, participation, dedication, generosity, and joy have been valuable partners in the development of the school.

The final message is optimistic about the future, in view of this unshakeable will and boundless commitment persons engaged with the school and support we received from the entire University. We are on track, I am sure. We continue, with renewed courage to constantly share for the challenges ahead in development  - never completed - this great project that is the Scientific Building, Education and Human of  the School of Medicine of the University of Minho!