Foreigners physicians in Brazil: the art of knowing to look, listen and touch


The More Doctors program is part of a broader pact for improving the Brazilian Unified Health System and aims to decrease shortages and improve the poor distribution of physicians among regions of Brazil, strengthen primary care, improve medical training and policies for continuing education and promote the exchange of experiences between foreigners and Brazilians doctors. This article addresses the peculiarities of Brazilian and foreign doctors’ attendances of the first group of the program in Ceará, Brazil. A qualitative methodology was used, comprising: direct observations of health units of twelve municipalities, twelve semi-structured interviews with managers and 32 with users of the same municipalities, who evaluated the services of the medical professionals. The culture of prevention and humanization seems to be a priority in the care provided by foreign medical staff. Within these professionals, Cubans are positively assessed by managers and users in relation to their ability to look, listen and touch the patients. This behavior shows the need to strengthen the culture of a more humanized care among Brazilian doctors.

National Health Programs; Humanization of Assistance; Unified Health System; Medical Care

Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. Associação Paulista de Saúde Pública. Av. dr. Arnaldo, 715, Prédio da Biblioteca, 2º andar sala 2, 01246-904 São Paulo - SP - Brasil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7880 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil