The University of the Azores announced that 20 additional new doctors, of a class of 150 student-doctors, have completed their studies and are now interns at the public hospitals in Ponta Delgada (São Miguel) and Angra do Heroismo (Terceira).
The University of the Azores new school of medicine started in 2005 with 60 percent of its students being residents of the Azores. The first 20 doctors of the 2005 class graduated in 2010.
The medical program at the University of the Azores was implemented in partnership with the University of Coimbra based in mainland Portugal.
According to a source from the University of the Azores, the students were subjected to the same standards required by the University of Coimbra one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Europe.
There is a shortage of general practitioners in the Azores, a situation which forced the Regional Government to recruit foreign doctors namely from Czechoslovakia.
The University of the Azores was founded on January 9, 1976. The University of Coimbra, founded in 1290, by Portuguese King D. Dinis (1261-1325), is the oldest university of Portugal and one of the oldest universities in Europe and the world. It is also one of largest higher education Portuguese research institutions.