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Católica Medical School

Católica Medical School

Católica Medical School


The creation of a Católica Medical School has been a project of Universidade Católica Portuguesa for more than 20 years, but only now have the right conditions come together for its creation. Our Medical School begins its journey at a unique moment in our civilization: a pandemic on a global scale that has imposed so many changes, difficulties, questions, and doubts that compel us to rethink two fundamental areas for humans: education and health care.

In this context, we adopted three strategic lines to train healthcare professionals of excellence, with a high ethical sense and social responsibility, capable of contributing to the continuous improvement of health care, and inspired by the mission of working for the common good, in a firm commitment to the patients:

The use of student-centered teaching methods to ensure the transmission of knowledge and of the most advanced medical and scientific techniques, placing students at the center of their learning and empowering them with the autonomy to make decisions about their academic and professional paths;

Training in clinical skills from the first year of the medical degree and the organization of semi-professional clinical internships, with the integration of students as full members of medical teams;

The inclusion of research, both laboratory and clinical, in the curriculum of the medical degree, thus stimulates education in the scientific method and facilitates the training of clinician-scientists.

The excellence of teaching that we offer is guaranteed by four fundamental pillars:

Our inclusion in the universe of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, an institution with significant experience in the health sciences and well known at the national and international levels for excellence in teaching and research, which we will perpetuate here.

The partnership with the University of Maastricht, one of the leading Universities in Europe occupies a top position among the best Young Universities and whose Medical curriculum, which will be adapted and implemented in our Medical School, has proven excellence.

The partnership with Grupo Luz Saúde, one of the largest private health groups in Portugal. The clinical excellence practiced in its hospitals, recognized through the accreditation of Hospital da Luz Lisboa by the Joint Commission International (JCI), guarantees the quality of clinical teaching. Hospital da Luz Lisboa has all the variety of medical and surgical specialties, equipment, laboratories, and clinical research required of a university hospital. In addition, it has a strong tradition in teaching - Hospital da Luz Learning Health - with the experience and notoriety acquired in Training, Research, and Innovation.

The faculty is made up of educators recognized and distinguished for their medical practice, as teachers or in research.

It is with great enthusiasm and a sense of responsibility that we dedicate ourselves to the creation of this Medical School, certain of its enormous value for those with a vocation to practice medicine as well as to contribute to the excellence of the teaching of Medicine in Portugal.


Católica Medical School’s mission is to train physicians and outstanding health professionals.

For the accomplishment of this mission, and through the creation of a culture that integrates basic, translational, and clinical research with primary and specialized health care, Católica Medical School is committed to offering:

  • Inspiring curriculum programs that will train clinicians who will combine in-depth scientific knowledge with highly developed clinical and communication skills;
  • The ability to self-learn throughout life, to train outstanding professionals and support staff, as well as compassionate communicators endowed with a deep sense of social responsibility;
  • The strong increase in a multidisciplinary collaboration will allow professionals to adapt to the challenges of technological and social developments, as partners in health systems;
  • Significant collaborative research that will allow advances in the practice of medicine and health;
  • Service to the community in the spirit of Christian ethics, ensuring respect for the intellectual freedom, needs, dignity, suffering, and hopes of each individual.


Given its Christian foundations and its humanist and care-centered vocation, Universidade Católica Portuguesa is committed to developing inspiring and innovative medical education closely associated with research, in order to train health professionals with the skills to generate knowledge, with a deep ethical sense and social responsibility, who will contribute to the continuous improvement of health care and the advancement of the well-being of populations.

General Objectives

The general objectives of the Integrated Master in Medicine, leading to a degree in Basic Medical Sciences, inseparable from those leading to the degree of Master’s in Medicine, are the following:

  • To enable the acquisition of the core skills necessary for the practice of Medicine, through a student-centered model of teaching-learning;
  • To prepare for the application of appropriate knowledge in the analysis and solution of clinical problems, structured through the use of Problem-based Learning – PBL teaching methods;
  • To develop skills and the ability to collect, select and interpret relevant information for the professional practice of medicine;
  • To foster a critical spirit and attitude regarding knowledge (competence in knowledge management) and promote scientific research in the field of health sciences, adopting the integrated medical approach and the principles of evidence-based medicine;
  • To enable the acquisition and development of independent learning skills that allow the development of lifelong learning strategies, stimulated by the use of PBL methods;
  • To promote intervention as agents of change in the promotion of health, prevention of illness, and participation in the well-being of communities and populations;
  • To promote leadership in the area of health policy.

These general objectives served as the basis for the definition of the pedagogical plan of the study cycle, which was developed in partnership with one of the best references in medical education at the international level, the Maastricht University.

Campus Features

The Católica Medical School building was designed by the architect Bartolomeu da Costa Cabral and was inaugurated in 2001. It has an area of about 10,000 square meters and was designed to house an academic teaching and research unit.

This building was rehabilitated in 2021 to receive the Faculty of MedicineCatólica Medical School, whose intervention especially focused on the creation of two spaces: anatomy laboratory and bioterium. In the same way, the entire area around the building was recovered in order to facilitate access and parking.

Católica Medical School has all the infrastructure needed for the Integrated Masters in Medicine. The building now includes spaces for classrooms, amphitheaters, laboratories, library, and documentation center, as well as all support services.

More specifically, the Católica Medical School campus contains the following spaces:

  • 1 Auditorium (350 seats)
  • 2 Amphitheatres (100 seats each)
  • 12 tutorial learning rooms equipped with all kinds of audiovisual material and Wi-Fi
  • 1 modern Anatomy Laboratory, fully equipped for practical anatomy activities
  • 8 Practical learning rooms with audiovisual material, anatomical models, anatomo-physiological simulators, and technical material
  • 7 Rooms for training and assessment of clinical skills with audio and video recording
  • 2 Computer rooms (with 55 computers each) connected to the internet and network
  • 6 Research and teaching laboratories, with various support units, fully equipped with state-of-the-art technology (e.g. flow cytometry, microscopy, others)
  • 1 Bioterium
  • 3 Study rooms (capacity for 150 students, with individualized spaces)
  • Academic and Administrative Area
  • Library and Information Area
  • Computer and Multimedia Area
  • Facilities and Equipment Area
  • Chapel
  • Canteen, bar, common rooms
  • Garage


The Católica Medical School Library’s mission is to support and strengthen the teaching and learning processes, research, and simple search carried out within the scope of the School activities, as well as to serve the community of Universidade Católica Portuguesa, particularly in the context of Medicine, but also Health Sciences in general.

It aims to contribute to the intellectual growth and creativity of each individual, to develop a collection capable of stimulating and serving its user’s needs, and to provide access to information resources that support their interests, preferences, and abilities. Training for the effective use of these resources and the development of information and digital literacy skills are also main concerns.

In line with the needs arising from the adoption of the Problem-based Learning (PBL) methodology, the CMS Library will seek to provide well-equipped and functional physical spaces that promote collective and individual learning, as well as explore and implement innovative technologies and services, in order to provide the necessary information resources to its users anytime and anywhere.

  • Major areas of knowledge: Biomedicine and Health Sciences
  • Number of titles: 4175 (180 physically + 3995 e-books)
  • Number of journals: 1244
  • Number of seats: 60
  • Number of search terminals: 4
  • Other features available: photocopier, printer, scanner
  • Number of study offices (individual and group): 3
  • Area: 195 m² on the 1st floor | 167,7m² on the 2nd floor


Anatomy is the basic science of the study of the human body, in all educational programs in the health sciences, and dissection is the richest way to materialize this learning.

Starting from the classic concept of anatomical theater and adapting it to the reality of modern anatomy departments, this laboratory was created with 410 square meters, which has several rooms for the preparation of pieces and corpses, preservation rooms with freezing and refrigeration chambers, changing rooms and two dissection rooms for pre and postgraduate education, with eight dissection tables.

All anatomical pieces used were altruistically donated through the cadaveric donation program and followed all legal and ethical standards that guarantee the dignified treatment of the body.

Our department also promotes the in vivo anatomical study, through anatomical models, and through interactive classes with digital supports (3D atlas, digital microscopy, etc.), tutorials, and other practical sessions in the field of Embryology and Histology, whose teaching takes place predominantly at the Histology Laboratory and Microscopy Rooms.


The Skills Lab is a transversal program that runs over the first 5 years of the curriculum. It is where students develop fundamental clinical skills for their life as future doctors. These include obtaining a correct clinical history, performing a complete physical examination, the correct reading of laboratory exams, and performing many technical procedures.

Starting in the first weeks of the course, by conducting interviews with simulated patients students practice and develop their ability to communicate with patients and establish a good doctor-patient relationship. Simultaneously, students practice patient observation and examination using medical devices such as the stethoscope, ophthalmoscope, otoscope, or reflex hammer, among others.

Finally, they will have the opportunity to practice and develop many procedural skills that doctors need in their clinical activity such as the measurement of vital signs, venous puncture, arterial puncture, lumbar puncture, basic life support, advanced life support, use of an external automatic defibrillator, wound suturing, among many others.

Initially, skills are taught with the use of written technical guidance and audiovisual media as well as hands-on practice with advanced medical simulation models. After this phase, students begin practicing, under supervision, with each other and later with simulated patients.

    Scholarships and Funding


    • Rio de Mouro

      Estrada Octávio Pato, 2635-631, Rio de Mouro