The implantation of the rural medical internship at UFT: challenges and perspectives

Nilton Vale Cavalcante, Itágores Hoffman I Lopes Sousa Coutinho, Valdir Francisco Odorizzi, Flávio Dias Silva, Rafael Ramalho Vale Cavalcante


Introdução: The Rural Medical Internship at the Federal University of Tocantins (UFT) is a mandatory discipline foreseen on the Pedagogic Project of the medicine course. During a period of 3 (three) months, the students move to small towns at Tocantins’s countryside in order to perform supervised pedagogical and practical activities on these cities’ local health systems.

Objetivos: To present the process of implantation and institutionalization of UFT’s medicine course Rural Internship, which has been taking place in 7 (seven) countryside towns of Tocantins state, selected based on the State’s Regionalizing Plan, but that have willingly adhered to the program.

Metodologia ou Descrição da Experiência: Until now, UFT has graduated only one class of doctors. The second, - which has already concluded the Rural Internship – graduates in January, 2014. Before they started the internship, most students were discouraged, presenting a noticeable resistance to the idea of spending three months on the countryside, judging it would be a waste of precious time from their academic lives. It prevailed on the students’ (sub) conscious the dichotomy between the urban and the rural; the latter seen as a synonym of dereliction and “underdevelopment”, as opposed to the notion of the former, modern and developed, ideas that have contributed to magnify historical social inequalities.

Resultados: After being presented to the Academic Community both the Pedagogical Project and the initial logic of Tocantins’s country towns chosen, the Rural Internship is now a reality in Ananás, Xambioá, Colinas, Guaraí, Miracema, Cristalândia and Peixe, comprising six of the state’s eight health regions. The experience and the contact of the students with the different realities existent on Tocantins’s countryside point to the concretion of the objectives proposed on UFT’s main documents,- which aim to consolidate the guidelines of teaching, research and extension, strengthening its project as an University, by interacting with different social groups and regional realities.

Conclusão ou Hipóteses: The Rural Internship, in phase of implantation and consolidation at UFT, has been fulfilling its role. From the words of an intern from the first class of graduates: “[…] the rural internship of UFT has been giving a complement, a final impulse that we need on the medicine course; we see where we’re still flawed and pursue improvements.”


Rural Internship; Medical Edcucation; Medical School

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