The Graduate Program (PPG) in Ophthalmology, Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, and Speech Therapy at the Ribeirão Preto Medical School of the University of São Paulo (FMRP-USP) was inaugurated in 2003 aiming at training professors and researchers and disseminating the scientific knowledge through academic innovation and integration between clinical and experimental research.
The early stages of our PPG were in 1970 with the establishment of the Graduate Program in Ophthalmology and in 1990 with the Graduate Program in Otorhinolaryngology, which held 216 students until 2003, totaling 495 graduates to date. Several of these students (116 to date) have contributed directly or indirectly across the country carrying out teaching and research activities, with some alumni becoming professors in our Department, participating as permanent professors (DP) in this PPG.
With a multidisciplinary aspiration, the lines of research of our PPG are divided into two areas of concentration: 1. Physiopathological mechanisms of the Visual and Audio-vestibular systems and 2. Morphophysiology of Facial Structures. Multidisciplinarity is acknowledged by professors and students in several subjects present in the lines of research covered by the PPG, such as pathophysiological mechanisms of the visual and audio-vestibular systems, anatomy-molecular study in the head and neck neoplasms, and anthropometric and morphofunctional study of the cervical-craniofacial complex.
Since the new PPG proposal, vacancies have been offered for physicians of other specialties and non-physicians, which has contributed to the multidisciplinary integration of the research lines. In 2007, the Program reached CAPES grade 5, maintaining, however, grade 4 since 2010. An additional effort was demanded in the last four years, which increased the internationalization, research funding, student participation, and publications had a greater impact factor. Since then, cooperation with other laboratories within the institution, or even with National and International Agreements, exchange, and joint production have increased.
Our program features the expansion of international cooperation agreements, including the University of Cincinnati in the USA, the University of Salamanca in Spain, and with the Universities of Porto and Minho in Portugal and, recently, Flinders University in Australia, Columbia University – NY, and Duke University – NC in the USA.
With the academic master’s and doctoral courses, our PPG has received students from all over the country and some foreign students. Our facilities rely on classrooms and research laboratories established mainly through funded projects.
The faculty members, composed primarily of ophthalmology, otolaryngology, head and neck surgeons, gastroenterologists, and speech therapists demonstrate the PPG multidisciplinarity, in which interdisciplinarity is aligned in the lines and research projects. Our faculty members are acknowledged, with several coordinators from scientific societies, belonging to the editorial board of scientific journals, organizers of scientific events, and fundraising for research. In 2017, support in biostatistics was agreed by the medical physicist Denny Marcos Garcia, a graduate of our PPG who has participated in several scientific works.
Also in 2017, aiming at the support of international professors, Professor Justine Smith initiated as a collaborator in the agreement signed between FMRP-USP and the Flinders University (Australia). Currently, she advises a master’s student and has publications with the faculty members.
The faculty is composed of 17 professors, being one of these international collaborators.
Since November 2016, the current coordinator, Prof. Dr. Jayter Silva de Paula, together with the new PPG coordinating committee, has sustained the main activities of our program and held meetings with the faculty to discuss goals and establish actions to achieve excellence, strengthening mainly internationalization, equalization of activities developed by the program’s professors, social insertion, and student participation in scientific publications.
The general aim of the PPG is training highly qualified researchers and professors combined with the production of knowledge in the fields of ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, head and neck surgery, and speech therapy through cutting-edge scientific disciplines and research at the international level.
Therefore, the following specific goals are pursued:
- Train students at different levels for the development of scientific research, dissemination of knowledge, and quality teaching, from a theoretical and practical point of view;
- Produce knowledge and increase the quality of scientific research in areas related to PPG;
- Promote a critical discussion of issues related to PPG specialties, within the scientific and public health scope, under a multidisciplinary view;
Upon completing their formal instruction at PPG, the graduate shall be able to exercise their academic, social, and scientific and technological role. Our graduates shall therefore be able to:
- Integrate multidisciplinary teams, collaborating with high-level teaching and research centers or forming new research and teaching centers;
- Evaluate, plan, develop and fulfill health, teaching and research projects, in line with new methodologies and scientific technologies;
- Act critically as process and system transformers, innovating and producing technologies applicable to the future needs of science and society.
The Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (Capes) is a foundation linked to the Ministry of Education of Brazil, which operates in the expansion and consolidation of stricto sensu graduate studies in all Brazilian states. Through its Evaluation Board (DAV), graduate programs are evaluated as to their entry (evaluation of new course proposals) and when they remain (periodical evaluation of graduate courses). The Programs are distributed in 49 assessment areas, the PPG is allocated in the Medicine III area, which groups research with an interest in the surgical theme in general and in its specialties.
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For maintaining its evolution, the program considers the following issues as priorities in future planning:
- Expansion of the bidirectional exchange of students and researchers between our PPG and institutions abroad, including sandwich doctorate and post-doctorate, focusing on publications and theses.
In 2017, the existing international agreements were strengthened, and there are currently two international co-orientations in our PPG, but we intend to increase these actions in the coming years. Personal strategies and specific internal discussions have been presented, with a focus on increasing multicenter projects, distance co-orientation, and maintenance of the English-language disciplines.
- Standardize the number of publications in journals with the greatest impact among the faculty of our program. Despite the search for quality improvement, this difficulty can be partially explained by the fact that three of the four PPG specialties are limited by journals in the area classified as B1.
- Expand social insertion by increasing charity actions and exposing scientific research in secondary and elementary education.
- Increase the flow of students’ degrees, with attention to the deadlines for joint publication with students.
Updated in 26/04/2023