The first medical course at NOVA Medical School (NMS) took place in the academic year 1973-1980. Starting at the Faculty of Medicine of Lisbon / Hospital de Santa Maria, the course was transferred to the renovated premises of Campo de Santana. The Faculty of Medical Sciences of Universidade NOVA de Lisboa was established there on 15 November 1977.

The college is headquartered in a building whose original 19th-century project was designed by architect José Maria Nepomuceno, located in Campo dos Mártires da Pátria (also known as Campo de Santana).

The main building, where the Lisbon Medical-Surgical School of Lisbon and later the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon (transferred to the University City in 1953) was built on the site where there was a bullring and has in front of its magnificent façade, a statue in homage to Sousa Martins, a well-known doctor beatified by the people of Lisbon.

It is an imposing property in which the best artists of the time collaborated, highlighting the panels by Veloso Salgado in the Sala dos Actos, the tiles by Jorge Colaço in Passos Perdidos, the paintings by Columbano in the Sala dos Juris and the painting " O Mestre" (1914), by Carlos Bonvalot (1893-1934), which represents a lesson in Anatomy given by Professor Henrique de Vilhena.

The Faculty's mission is the public service for training and research in the fields of medical and health sciences.


The first cohort of students to finish their medical degree at Santana Campus of NOVA Medical School|Faculdade de Ciências Médicas was the class of 1973-1980.  They had been admitted at Universidade de Lisboa but started their lectures already as members of the “Santana Campus Extension” of the Faculdade de Medicina de Lisboa.  They and their professors constituted the initial core that gave rise to Faculdade de Ciências Médicas.   

The first lectures were held at the Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, in Junqueira. Later on there were also lectures in the Instituto de Ciências Sociais e Políticas (formerly Instituto de Ciências Sociais e Política Ultramarina), at the Burnay Palace, in Junqueira street, as well as in hospitals which began to be affiliated with the school, starting with Egas Moniz Hospital.

This first cohort took 7 years to complete their studies due to constraints arising from uncertainty regarding the legal status of what was then known as the “Faculdade do Campo de Santana”. These were only resolved in 1977 when the Faculty legally established.

The school was innovative from start, using modern audiovisual tools and video recording classes, so that students could watch them at convenient times, something particularly beneficially for student workers.  

The first class to receive a degree from this newly created school was the 1977 one, named “From the Public,” because although they spent their first years as Faculdade de Medidina de Lisboa / Hospital de Santa Maria students, afterwards, from 1976 on they had final clinical education at the Public Hospitals of Lisbon.  In 1978 this class received their Medical Doctor Degrees issued by Faculdade de Ciências Médicas.

Knowledge about these early years is paramount to understand the history of the school, founded right around the political unrest of 1974 and several other tribulations, thus shaping from the beginning a strong team spirit and a truly new and modern culture.