The relation of basic sciences and medicine: institutional, professional and pedagogic implications.

H G Ferreira


The author analyses the problems involved in the transfer of concepts and techniques from the basic sciences to the medical practice. The number of skills to be acquired in the course of medical training restricts the inclusion of the teaching in depth of basic sciences in the Curricula of medical schools. Post-graduate teaching cannot be used for that purpose unless it is geared to MD's fully dedicated to research. New discoveries in the basic sciences which may be relevant to medicine can only be made available to doctors through the development of basic research in medical institutions, playing the role of centers of excellence. Since basic research in the medical field is, by its nature, interdisciplinary, such policy entails the recruitment of scientists with non-medical background to whom career opportunities comparable to those of the doctors should be made available. In countries with small scientific communities the most important step in the stimulation of basic research is the identification of young talents and the support of existing productive groups. In the mid term, molecular biology, neurobiology and signal processing (specially image processing) seem to be promising areas from a medical point of view. Science should be considered a very important component of the cultural activity of a country.

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