Medical Students’ Perceptions of the Brazilian Public Health System, expressed in a Reflective Portfolio
ABSTRACT The way of thinking about medicine courses, and the profile of future physicians in Brazil have changed since 2001, and this has affected the institutions and people involved in this process. This article analyzes medical students’ views on what is expected of them after graduation, and the new concept of physician expected by the public health care system in Brazil. It is a qualitative study, based on portfolios developed by students in their final period in the years 2013 and 2014. Analysis of the portfolios considered the expectations generated by the students’ expectations of medical schools in Brazil since 2001, i.e., to produce general physicians with a humanistic, critical, reflective and ethical training. The results revealed that most students think about the public health system, and know and understand how it is organized, but they do not identify themselves either with the scenario, or with the professionals who work within it. Regarding their role as students in this context, some students adopted the position of spectators, while others recognized how important they are in helping to change the system in line with SUS guidelines. Finally, the students believe that the ESF may work, but they do not feel part of this system and do not recognize the patients they meet there as their idealized patient.