Social changes and redemocratization that occurred in Brazil in the 1940s, allied with the relief and euphoria that marked the end of World War II, determined that civil society organized itself to achieve a better quality of life. This included access to Culture and Education. Some inland cities pleaded the interiorization of Higher Education, with consequent access of young people to liberal professions and to the improvement of the local economy, which would boost the progress (1).
In Ribeirão Preto, the movement pro School of Medicine was intense, with the participation of various segments of society and the Medical Center. Dr. Paulo Gomes Romeo was one of the leaders and later as President of the Medical Center, played an important role in the establishment of FMRP. The congressman Luiz Augusto Gomes de Matos was the responsible for the Bill presented to the Congress, approved in 1948(2,3,5).
The Government of São Paulo State supported the idea of interiorization of higher education, but there was no unanimity at the University of São Paulo (USP) regarding Medical Education. Althoughthere was a large amount of qualified Professors of Medicine to work in the new Medical School, the expansion could lead to loss of educational quality. Despite this, in 1947, a Committee was created, coordinated by Professor Dr. Zeferino Vaz, to study the possibility of implementing the new School, organizing the curriculum and planningitsestablishment (1,3,5). The final approval of the curriculum structure, occurred in September, 1951. Three months later the Government of São Paulo approved the establishment of FMRP. Prof. Vaz was appointed as the first Director.
In addition to the personal characteristics of Zeferino Vaz, who was an enterprising man, visionary, sensitive to the needs of society that began to outline the type of health service that would be welcome, determined to create a prominent School of Medicine,several factors influenced the choice of model for the pedagogical-teaching and the Faculty of FMRP:
The American model of that time (Flexnerian) which would ensure innovative featurestoFMRP, emphasized research, technology and overspecialization, as well as the separation of basic education from clinical and the full-time (1);
- The Rockefeller Foundation, which would be the main source of financing of the new Institution,strongly recommended that this model was considered (2,4);
- Medical Residency in Brazil was being considered and discussions on Graduate Courses had been initiated (1,2).
On the other hand:
- “Changes in laws (the first Welfare Institutes already existed in Brazil); economic and social changes, with the consequent change in the health system” (1) occurred in Brazil, Latin America and other regions of the world, and it was awarded with the proposal for inclusion in the project of FMRP a School Health Center.
- The importance of Preventive Medicine, the integration of chairs in departments, limiting the number of positions and rigorous selection of students were incorporated in the propositions of the Pan American Congress of Medical Education in 1951. This entity, also recommended, “the full-time for basic and clinical disciplines, the creation of a School of Nursing and the establishment of a School Hospital”, which was in accordance with the “American model” and with the requirements of the Rockefeller Foundation (2,4).
The initial faculty of FMRP was composed of renowned Europeans, South Americans and Brazilians professors, (1,2).It is worth mentioning that it was included in the initial curriculum of FMRP disciplines that did not exist in other Brazilian Medical Schools, such as the Medical Psychology.
During the establishment and in the first years the headquarters and some laboratories of FMRP worked on a house located at 757 Visconde de Inhaúma Street; the classes were taught in the building of the School of Pharmacy and Dentistry and Santa Casa de Misericórdia of Ribeirão Preto provided physical structure for clinical and surgical qualification.
In the 1950s there was a change of FMRP into the headquarters of the former Agricultural School, the provision of housing for faculty and staff on campus, the creation and implementation of the University Hospital. With the construction of the new building in 1978 and 1979 the UH changed for the Campus and in the former headquarters was installed the Emergency Facility.
On April 2, 1963 – under the presidency of Deputy Director, Prof. Dr. Mauro Pereira Barreto, the Congregation of FMRP was established - FMRP-USP Congregation website (historical record). In the early years, when necessary specific quorum, this was supplemented by professors from the Schoolof Pharmacy and Dentistry.
ZeferinoVaz remained at FMRP for 12 years. On March 20, 1964, the Congregation of FMRP ceased performing Solemn Session to grant him the title of “Doutor Honoris Causa”, attended by the Rector, Denas of other USP Facilities and civil and ecclesiastical authorities.
Over the decades, changes in the curriculum were made necessary following: “Advances in science and technology for diagnosis and treatment and industrialization; changes in laws, economic, political and social changes, with the consequent modification of the health system and greater appreciation of prevention; the emerging of different diseases, drug discovery, and by pressure from students and the willingness of heads of educationaldepartments and collegiate “(1).
During these 60 years there were the establishment of the Medical Residency and Graduate Course, departmental restructuring, implantation of the Historical Museum(6), changes in the roles of Health Sciences Professor, changes in administrative activities (7), preparation of Master Plan, Establishment of Foundations, Creation of New Courses (Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Nutrition and Metabolism, Speech Therapy, besides the Biological Sciences, which dates the 1960s and Medical Informatics, shared with the School of Philosophy, Sciences and Languages of Ribeirão Preto).
The hierarchy of the health system, as well as the new demands of the “patientcitizen” required changes, also at the University Hospital (aimed predominantly to the tertiary and quaternary levels), the Emergency Facility and other support facilities, with significant expansion of extramural spaces.
Thus, FMRP aims to train professional health qualified to the Brazilian needs; that the graduates of their Residency Programs (Medical and Multiprofessional) ensure excellent level of health care and that their university extension courses contribute to the continuing education of professionals in several areas. FMRP aims to train Masters, Doctors, Researchers and post-docs; FMRP also develops important research, thus contributing to the evolution of scientific knowledge. And, through its cultural and extension activities the School expects to meets the social commitment (link para o discurso do Diretor, proferido em Sessão Solene Comemorativa aos 60 anos da FMRP, realizada em 21 de maio de 2012).
See also: FMRP celebrates six decades of history and contributions to health (in Portuguese).
1 – Rodrigues MLV. Inovações no Ensino Médico e outras mudanças: aspectos históricos e na Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (editorial). Medicina Ribeirão Preto 2002; 35: 231-235.
2 – Moraes MAS. A História da Faculdade. Click here to download the file
3 – Moreira AC. O Jubileu da Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto e a Universidade de São Paulo. Medicina Ribeirão Preto, 2002; 35: 237-240.
4 – Amorim DS. “Abrahan Flexner – Modelo de educador, a burocracia e a filantropia”, Ribeirão Preto, Holos Editora 2012. 282 p.
5 – Maciel BC. Discurso proferido na Sessão Solene da Congregação, comemorativa aos 60 anos da FMRP - Read here.
6 – Coelho MAN, Hoffmann A. A Cultura na Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto - Medicina Ribeirão Preto, 2002; 35: 367-370.
7 – Furtado HEAL, Castro AF, Faria IGC, Bezerra RCR. 50 anos da Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto – Mudanças nas atividades meio. Medicina Ribeirão Preto, 2002; 35: 241-246.
Other sources consulted:
- Minutes of the Congregation of the FMRP-USP.
- Administrative processes of the FMRP-USP.
Profa. Dra. Maria de Lourdes Veronese Rodrigues
Full Professor Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery Department, and President of the Committee of Culture and University Extension – FMRP-USP.
Journalist Raquel Tsuji Iliano
Secretary of the Commission of International Relations, and of the Committee of Culture and University Extension – FMRP-USP.