Ricardo Pereira e Silva
GENERAL INFORMATION - DEMOGRAPHICS
Portugal has a population of 10 million inhabitants and is a member of both the European Union (EU) and the European Board of Urology (EBU). 25 Urological Departments are operating all over the country. There are about 300 Urologists (1 urologist per 33,333 inhabitants) and 63 Residents (1 resident per approx. 5 urologists).
NATIONAL UROLOGICAL SOCIETY
Associação Portuguesa de Urologia (APU)
After 12 years of basic and secondary school you have the possibility to enter one of the seven Medical Schools in Portugal. You graduate after 6 years (3 of basic pre-clinical teaching and 3 more of clinical teaching). After medical school, you can present to the National Speciality Examination. Following the exam you start your residency with 1 year internship for all specialties. Finishing your first year you will choose your specialty based on the national exam and available vacancies. If you choose one of the 6 to 10 Urology Residency vacancies available every year, you then enter a 6 year Residency Program. This program is defined by law and consists of a 72 months length internship distributed like follows: 12 months of General Surgery (first year); 54 months of Urology (second year and after); 2 months of Pediatric Surgery (third year or after) and additional 2 months in two optional specialties (Nephrology, Anatomical Pathology, Gynecology, Vascular Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Pediatric Surgery or Radiology).
The minimum number of proceedings and surgeries that you must perform before taking the final examination is well defined. You have a personal tutor to guide you during your residency. The quality of training is very high according to the European standards. Almost every resident has the opportunity to take the EBU in-service examination.
Public hospitals and clinics are still the major urologist employers in Portugal, but the scene is changing quickly. The National Health System is becoming progressively less dependent of the Central Government and managed by private interests. There is presently no unemployment for urologists in Portugal even the number of them are not equally distributed among the country (great number of them working in Lisbon, Oporto and Coimbra and very few in other regions). Some foreign are presently specializing in Urology in Portugal, mainly Spanish. The number of Urologists in our Country is adequate for the present needs. 60 % to 70 % of the new Urologists are becoming EBU fellows. Andrology in mainly performed by Urologists in Portugal but Pediatric Urology is done by Pediatric Surgeons. Well organized conferences, congress and symposium with state of the art lectures and opportunities to continual medical education are presented every year.
FELLOWSHIP - RESEARCH OPPORTUNTIES
Some degree of basic or clinical research is mandatory during residency, according to the portuguese Urology Residency Programme. Residents who are highly interested in research or an academic career are allowed to combine clinical residency with a PhD program/ research activity, extending the duration of the residency. There are some governamental and non-governamental grants open for residents application.