EAT at UFJF: first year results and future expectations

EAT team at UFJF School of Medicine, Brazil, 2018. Back row- Isabella, Lorena, Prof. Isabel, Luísa, Bárbara, Cintya; Front row- Hugo, Arthur, Otávio, Iago, Matheus.

EAT team at UFJF School of Medicine, Brazil, 2018. Back row- Isabella, Lorena, Prof. Isabel, Luísa, Bárbara, Cintya; Front row- Hugo, Arthur, Otávio, Iago, Matheus.

In May 2017, EAT was launched at Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF), Brazil. Since its implementation, the group has come a long positive way and there are plenty of expectations for the future. Our interview with this EAT group follows below.

Luisa, please introduce yourself and tell us what motivated you to found EAT at UFJF in May 2017.

My name is Luísa Vianna Cançado and I am currently a 3rd year medical student. I got to know EAT over a year ago and I immediately became amazed at the project. The promotion of health with clear short- and long-term benefits to local community is the factor that motivated me the most to found an EAT group at UFJF. Smoking is a major public health issue and I am glad that my medical school is now part of a multinational team that effectively prevents smoking initiation and promotes smoking cessation among adolescents.

Could you tell us a bit about what the EAT-UFJF group has accomplished so far?

Lorena Resende Oliveira, 3rd year medical student:
Our team worked very hard during this first year. Initially, we spent some time training for the interventions and arranging all material that would be needed for the activities, but since then our interventions have already covered hundreds of Brazilian adolescents from public secondary schools. In addition, we have had regular meetings with our academic mentor to discuss recent scientific articles to ensure we are always up-to-date on the subject. We also presented a poster in a local Congress to report our experiences at EAT-UFJF.

Prof. Isabel
Cristina Gonçalves Leite, you are the first dentist to become an EAT-Brazil academic mentor – all other EAT academic mentors across Brazil are physicians. We are extremely honored to have your brilliant engagement in the project. Please tell us a bit about you. Also, do you think your different background is one of the factors that contributed to the success of the project? Why?

I am a dentist, but since graduation I have been involved in public health and my masters and doctorate degrees were in the area of ​​Public Health (Epidemiology). In this way, I was always involved in multidisciplinary work. After several experiences, whether in public assistance or private teaching, I joined the UFJF School of Medicine. Since the beginning, I got involved with teaching, extension and research (including teaching and research in 3 master and 2 doctoral programs).
Due to the nature of my training, the area of ​​community health is my focus. The EAT project had all these characteristics that were attractive: health promotion; contribution to medical academic training; giving back to society. Undoubtedly working on these perspectives is not a privilege of any area of ​​knowledge. Promoting health, recognizing the social aspect of the professions, and getting to know the community reality are tasks that require multiprofessional dialogue because this is how we can generate results. Our group has the support of another professor, who is a pulmonologist and my doctoral student and also contributes scientifically and clinically with our EAT group.

What are the plans for the future of the EAT project at UFJF?

Luísa Vianna Cançado, 3rd year medical student:
After this first year, we realized that many other medical students were interested in joining our EAT-UFJF group. For this reason, we increased our team from 5 to 10 medical students. With more students we will work to reach more schools so that more adolescents will have the opportunity to participate in our interventions. We are very excited about the work that will be done in the next months and we expect the project to continue growing in the coming years.

More information about EAT-UFJF: http://educationtobacco.org/brazil-ufjf