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Cadernos de História da Educação

versão On-line ISSN 1982-7806

Cad. Hist. Educ. vol.22  Uberlândia  2023  Epub 07-Ago-2023 


Debates and pathways of the foundation of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina: the result of multiple actions and subjects (1950s)1

Julia Vieira Tocchetto de Oliveira1; lattes: 9096178087237722

1Universidade Federal do Paraná (Brasil).


The result of multiple actions and individuals, the foundation of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina in the 1950s, on the one hand, was an important step in order to consolidate the project to create a university in Santa Catarina and, on the other hand, was constituted through the growing organization of the medical profession, which had already been happening throughout the first half of the 20th century, especially due to the Medical Association of Santa Catarina. This article aims, from the selected sources, to address the foundation path of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina in the 1950s, in order to understand how the different actors that composed this movement mobilized strategies and tactics to consolidate a medical school in Santa Catarina.

Keywords: Medical Education; University education; History of Education


Resultado de múltiplas ações e sujeitos, a fundação da Faculdade de Medicina de Santa Catarina, nos anos 1950, por um lado foi um importante passo para consolidação do projeto de criar uma universidade em Santa Catarina e, por outro lado, constituiu-se através da crescente organização da classe médica, que já vinha acontecendo ao longo da primeira metade do Século XX, sobretudo, a partir da Associação Catarinense de Medicina. Este artigo tem como objetivo, a partir das fontes selecionadas, abordar o percurso de fundação da Faculdade de Medicina de Santa Catarina nos anos 1950, de modo a compreender como os diferentes atores que compuseram este movimento mobilizaram estratégias e táticas para consolidação de uma escola médica catarinense.

Palavras-chave: Formação Médica; Ensino Superior; História da Educação


Fruto de múltiples acciones y temas, la fundación de la Facultad de Medicina de Santa Catarina en la década de 1950, por un lado, fue un paso importante hacia la consolidación del proyecto de creación de una universidad en Santa Catarina y, por otro, se constituyó a través de la creciente organización de la profesión médica, que venía sucediendo durante la primera mitad del siglo XX, sobre todo desde la Asociación Catarinense de Medicina. Este artículo tiene como meta, a partir de las fuentes seleccionadas, abordar la trayectoria fundacional de la Facultad de Medicina de Santa Catarina en la década de 1950, con el fin de comprender cómo los diferentes actores que compusieron este movimiento movilizaron estrategias y tácticas para la consolidación de una facultad de medicina. catarinense.

Palabras clave: Educación médica; Enseñanza superior; Educación para la salud; Historia de la Educación


In the 1940s and 1950s, the growing organization of the medical profession and the institutionalization of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Dentistry of Santa Catarina, in which several doctors worked, contributed to foment the debate about the need for medical training. This discussion gained emphasis when the topic in debate was the perspective of creating a university in Santa Catarina,during a period of creation of several of these educational institutions in the country, followed by the federalization of several universities, such as the University of the neighboring state of Paraná, which in 1951 became the Federal University of Paraná.

The institutionalization of the Faculty of Medicine was an important instrument for consolidating the foundation project of a university in Santa Catarina, carried out in the 1960s, after a meeting of the faculties of Law, Philosophy, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Medicine, Economic Sciences, Social Assistance and the Industrial Engineering School (BRASIL, 1960). The consolidation of the University of Santa Catarina in 1960 took place in a period of significant expansion of Brazilian higher education and was linked to the phenomenon of federalization of state and private institutions in the country2 (CARMINATI, 2009, MENDONÇA, 2000; VASCONCELOS, 2007).

The idea of medical training in Santa Catarina was outlined throughout the first half of the 20th century, based on the circulation of ideas and experiences lived and shared by doctors in the most diverse spaces, such as the Inspectorate of Hygiene, in Santa Catarina hospitals, in the Department of Public Health in the state, at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Dentistry (where many of them taught) and at the Medical Association of Santa Catarina3, culminating in the foundation of a medical school in Santa Catarina in the late 1950s (OLIVEIRA, 2020).

In the process of founding the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina, without a doubt, the doctors who worked in the Medical Association of Santa Catarina had the leading role, but this process also had other actors, such as high school students, the press, parliamentarians from Santa Catarina, the government of Santa Catarina and the professors of the Faculty of Law of this state, who, along with the students, demanded a university in Santa Catarina. However, despite the efforts of these intellectuals and students, provisions established since 1931, by Federal Decree No. 19.851 (BRASIL, 1931), that demanded as a requirement “congregate the university unit into at least three of the following upper learning institutions: Faculty of Law, Faculty of Medicine, School of Engineering and Faculty of Education, Science and Literature”. (BRASIL, 1931), which made the creation of a university in Santa Catarina unfeasible. The problem would be solved with the creation of a medical school in the state.

In this sense, this article aims to address the foundation of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina in the 1950s, in order to understand how the different actors that composed this movement mobilized strategies and tactics to consolidate a medical school in Santa Catarina. Based on Michel de Certeau's (2011) considerations, I understand strategy as the calculation or manipulation of power relations that are thus managed in favor of an objective. Complementing the strategy, the tactical perspective, a “calculated action” (2011, p.93) that does not necessarily start from a pre-established place ─ which can even happen in disputes of ideas and of legitimacy, considering that the same subject can act sometimes from a strategic perspective, sometimes from a tactical perspective. In this way, from sources such as publications in daily newspapers, laws, speeches and memories, I intend to analyze the role of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina also in the scenario of higher education in Santa Catarina, correlating it with the idea of a university in the state.

In Brazil in the 1950s, the issue of health, of which the training of professionals working in the area was a crucial part, was strongly marked by the developments of international partnerships established with the United States during World War II (CAMPOS, 2006). The thesis of the relationship between health and socioeconomic development, which mobilized the international community after the destruction and misery of the war, was present in the speeches of doctors and Brazilian government officials. In addition to a sick Brazil, the thesis that echoes is a developmental one, and it was from this perspective that issues related to sanitation and the health of the population were addressed. (SILVA, 2015; TREVISAN, 1986).

As indicated by Hochman (2009), the historiography dedicated to researching public health policies designed and implemented in the 1950s emphasize, sometimes exaggeratedly, the polarization between sanitarism campaigner versus developmental sanitarism. In the first perspective, present in the first decades of the 20th century, the focus would have been on vertical interventions, technologically oriented towards and with the objective of solving specific problems. Developmental sanitarism, in turn, would understand the health of the population as dependent on the degree of development of the country and, therefore, only actions designed in the context of a national development project (with an emphasis on integrated services and decentralization) would have an impact. This polarization, however, would have occurred more from the point of view of ideas than of practices.

These speeches had resonance in Santa Catarina, particularly in its capital. Between the 1930s, impacted by the 1929 crisis, until the end of the 1940s, marked by the world war, Florianópolis suffered from the negative effects of the national and international economy, evidenced in the decay of the local port and in the transformation of the city into a place of civil servants, with restricted commercial activities (AGOSTINHO, 2012; LOHN, 2007). I understand resonance based on Greemblatt (1991) as: “[...] the power of the displayed object to reach a larger world beyond its formal limits, to evoke in the viewer the complex and dynamic cultural forces from which it emerged and from which can be considered by the spectator as a metaphor or simple synecdoche" (GREEMBLATT, 1991, p. 250). In this sense, understanding the Public Health debates and policies in Santa Catarina, in this period, implies understanding the complexity of the cultural gears that mobilized these discussions beyond the state.

Notably from the mid-1950s, the developmental discourse of a democratic government impacted initiatives that intended to modernize and make Florianópolis and the state prosper. In this context the central concern of the government was, once again, to take care of the health of the population of Santa Catarina.

Public health and sanitation policies in Florianópolis boosted actions such as the one installed, between 1951 and 1954, a network of health centers in the interior of the island of Santa Catarina (where the city is located), with the objective of offering medical assistance to residents in more distant areas. Furthermore, in the center of the capital there was a process of reorganizing the urban environment, with the construction of new buildings, which already indicated the verticalization of the central area. Also, the north seaside region, until then inhabited by old farms, underwent an urbanization process, with new plots and buildings, which extended the urbanization of Florianópolis (AGOSTINHO, 2012; LOHN, 2007).

It was in this context of the 1950s that the actions of doctors from Santa Catarina were outlined for the creation of an institution for medical training in Santa Catarina. Actions that came, above all, from the Medical Association of Santa Catarina.

First steps: initiatives and debates that preceded the creation of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina

The idea of a university in Santa Catarina became recurrent among the debates about higher education in Santa Catarina in the 1940s and was a topic debated not only among physicians and health professionals, but also by intellectuals from the most diverse areas and, in particular, by the professors and students of the Faculty of Law.

The speech of the judge Urbano Salles, director of the Faculty of Law of Santa Catarina, on the occasion of the graduation of the bachelors in 1947, makes evident the intention to create a university in Santa Catarina. In his words, transcribed by the newspaper O Estado:

We owe a lot to everyone for the material support and moral encouragement of the Public Power, we have always had and the society of Florianópolis has never denied us its applause and encouragement [...] other higher courses - such as the Faculty of Pharmacy and Dentistry, in the process of being complete, and the Faculty of Philosophy, in advanced studies, both promoted by the Faculty of Law for the formation of the University of Santa Catarina - a major aspiration of our highest culture and which has already had the support of the Legislature in a constitutional precept and for which the indispensable support of the illustrious Governor of the State we will always have (O Estado, 12/11/1947, p.2).

The students were also committed to the consolidation of a university. In 1948, the newspaper O Estado published the call-out for a law students' meeting and the first of the themes of the meeting was the creation of the University of Santa Catarina (O Estado, 06/16/1948). The first congress of students in the state, held in 1949, also discussed the creation of a university in Santa Catarina (O Estado, 23/10/1949).

In 1948, the foundation of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Dentistry of Santa Catarina, once again brought to the scene the idea of founding a university in Santa Catarina, after all, this institution represented another piece towards the realization of this endeavor. It is not by chance that the subtitle of the article published in Atualidades was “another step towards the University of Santa Catarina”. The doctor stated:

Other faculties will follow this one until the University of Santa Catarina is set up so that we can present our true greatness within modesty and the omnipotence of our strength within our imperturbable serenity (ATUALIDADES, 1948, p.14)

But, despite all this movement, provisions established since 1931, by Federal Decree No. 19,851 (BRASIL, 1931), made the creation of a university in Santa Catarina unfeasible. In the state, the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Pharmacy and Dentistry already existed and the Decree determined:

Art. 5: The constitution of a Brazilian university must meet the following requirements:

§ 1: congregate in a university unit at least three of the following higher education institutes: Faculty of Law, Faculty of Medicine, School of Engineering and Faculty of Education, Sciences and Literature. (BRASIL, 1931)

It was in this context that, in 1951, the first attempt to found the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina took place. When recalling the first steps towards this project, Dr. Roldão Consoni (2005, p.94), a member of the Medical Association of Santa Catarina, wrote:

Young people who wanted to pursue a medical career had to move, already for the vestibular4 , to schools in Curitiba, Porto Alegre or Rio de Janeiro. It was at least around six long years away from their families. It is easy to understand that, for many, the child's course was too expensive. Several municipalities in Santa Catarina did not have a single doctor. It is worth considering that, at the time, Curitiba and Porto Alegre already had three medical schools each, one of which was federal, that is, maintained by the Union. It was heartbreaking to observe that our progressive state, the 5th in federal revenue, did not have a single medical school (CONSONI, 2005, p. 94).

In the 1950s, a medical training institution, went further than providing the necessary assistance to the population and relieving the costs of families who wanted to send their children to a medical school, they also represented the desired modernity for Florianópolis.

Thus, the issue of creating a Faculty of Medicine in Santa Catarina quickly extrapolated the discussions of the Medical Association of Santa Catarina and reached the newspapers. On September 4, 1951, O Estado published an article signed by Dr. Roldão Consoni to try to answer the question, sent to the newsroom by students from Santa Catarina, about the feasibility of founding a medical school in Santa Catarina. The article began in a straightforward manner:

It seems to us that the problem boils down to answering the question: Can a Faculty of Medicine be founded in Florianópolis that presents a good standard of teaching?

Facing the matter in an objective, concrete way, we will analyze the factors that intervene, in the first line, in obtaining a good school: a) good teachers; b) well-equipped laboratories and c) adequate hospital establishments (O Estado, 04/09/1951, p.3).

During his explanation, Consoni, a physician from São Paulo, who held a graduate degree from the Faculty of Medicine of São Paulo and had been working in Florianópolis for years, explained the possible obstacles to the preparation of the project and presented solutions. For the problem of lack of professors, the solution would be to hire doctors in other Brazilian states, such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. (O Estado, 04/09/1951, p.3). With regard to laboratories, these would be in charge of the state of Santa Catarina. Considering the high costs of the institution, he proposed the establishment of a maximum of 20 vacancies as a way of reducing the high costs of the necessary materials (O Estado, 04/09/1951, p.3).

To justify his position, Dr. Consoni exemplified: “When the Rockefeller Foundation donated the building to the current Faculty of Medicine of São Paulo, that progressive state, among other conditions, imposed, in our view, a very important condition: the limitation of the number of vacancies to fifty ” (O Estado, 09/04/1951, p.3).

Finally, as for the hospital, the doctor presented as a possibility to give practical classes the use of hospital establishments already in operation in Florianópolis, especially the Hospital de Caridade (O Estado, 09/04/1951, p.3).

The day after the article was published in O Estado, September 5, 1951, an extraordinary session of the Santa Catarina Medicine Association was held to discuss the minimum conditions necessary for the foundation of a Faculty of Medicine (SÃO THIAGO, 1996, p. 174).

Doctor Polydoro de São Thiago was one of the doctors present at this meeting and recalled the conditions that were listed by the Association's doctors as essential for the functioning of a future Faculty:

1) Hire the teachers of the basic disciplines; 2) Assembly of laboratories; 3) Bear in mind that the clinical chairs could be satisfactorily filled by local elements; 4) Through agreements with hospitals, have access to infirmaries and outpatient services, already in operation, which could help a lot, especially with regard to setting up laboratories; 5) Accept an adaptable building to start operating (SÃO THIAGO, 1996, p. 174-175).

Essentially, they were the same conditions listed the day before in Dr. Consoni's article. However, in the article and even more so in the report by São Thiago, the possible divergences, including the way in which each of these items is addressed, do not appear, but must have existed. A clue can be found in an item listed by São Thiago: “Take into account that the clinical disciplines could be satisfactorily filled by local elements”. How many physicians present at the Association meeting agreed to a “satisfactory” filling? Who would it be? Regardless of the impasse, which certainly also involved financial issues, in 1951 the Association's proposal did not prosper.

However, this did not happen among students from Santa Catarina. At that time, Florianópolis had two secondary education institutions, both of which were Catholic denominations, Colégio Catarinense, for boys, and Coração de Jesus, for girls. They were students of Colégio Catarinense, together with Student Union of Santa Catarina,5 6 who, perhaps in an unprecedented way in Brazil, carried out the first effective attempt (with an elected commission) to found a medical school in Santa Catarina. Thus, on August 17, 1951, a meeting convened by Fúlvio Vieira, president of the Student Union of Santa Catarina, took place in the noble hall of the Faculty of Law, with the aim of discussing the possibility of implementing a medical course in the state. The meeting had the “enthusiastic presence” of some doctors, as reported years later by Dr. Consoni (CONSONI, 2005).

About 20 days later, on September 6, at a new meeting, the need to create a commission to deal with the issues of organizing the faculty of medicine was raised. The commission was finally elected on December 4, with 9 members in charge of formally making the Santa Catarina Faculty of Medicine viable. However, both the commission and the faculty did not succeed. According to Consoni (2005, p. 81): “This numerous steering committee, as far as we know, never met. For unknown reasons, all that primitive enthusiasm disappeared, there was no continuity of work, and thus the first attempt to create a faculty of medicine in Santa Catarina failed”.

Thus, in the early 1950s, the idea of creating a faculty of medicine gained sporadic impulses and, from time to time, it seemed that it was going to happen. In this sense, Dr. José Silveira, professor at the Faculty of Medicine of Bahia and specially invited to the 1st Congress of the Medical Association of Santa Catarina, in 1953, stated in an interview for the newspaper O Estado, that this event had been a stimulus for actions that aimed at the creation of this educational institution in Santa Catarina. The doctor stated that the event “represented an initial step towards the definitive installation of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina” (O Estado, 07/25/1953, p. 1).

The founding process of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina

Ideas need time, money and adhesion of several individuals to materialize and that was the case with the proposal for the creation of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina. At the end of 1956, under the supervision of doctors from Santa Catarina, the proposition was resumed. As reported by the newspaper O Estado, on December 20, 1956, there was an assembly that deliberated for the foundation of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina, with the presence of the Medical Association of Santa Catarina, governing authorities and professors of the Faculty of Law. (O Estado, 12/21/1956, p. 6). The day after this inaugural act, Osvaldo Melo wrote in the column Nossa Capital:

THE FACULTY OF MEDICINE OF SANTA CATARINA had its birth day, thank God, when the Society of Medicine (sic) managed to gather all the most highlighted elements representing the highest positions in the State who together decided to found another Faculty in the Capital (O Estado, 12/21/1956, p.8).

Despite the words of the newspaper, what was “born” was the effective commitment to create the Faculty. Initiated in a diffuse and plural way, based on ideas defended by doctors and student actions; gestated in medical-scientific meetings, notably the I Congress of the Medical Association of Santa Catarina; the organization of a faculty was an evident part of the aspirations of the doctors and governors to improve the health care of the population of Santa Catarina (encouraging and facilitating the training of doctors born in the state) and more, in the 1950s, this faculty would be one of the most significant for Florianópolis, and Santa Catarina in general, to adapt to the perspectives of modernity and socioeconomic development at the time in Brazil. Returning to Melo's considerations on the decision to create the faculty:

Once the initiative was in a position to proceed with its attainment, there was no delay in the measures. There was not even any stop waiting for reinforcements to continue the struggle. There was a lot of good will, a prompt decision, energetic tests of well-directed work and everything else that drives away fears and misgivings, unfounded obstacles that only serve to impede the progress of major initiatives (O Estado, 12/21/1956, p.8) .

Years had passed since the first attempt to found the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina. It is worth remembering that, in 1953, Professor José Silveira, professor at the Faculty of Medicine of Bahia, stated that the congress meant the first step towards the realization of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina. Four years later, however, this project had not come to life. The attempt to explain the reason for the postponement of the implementation of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina was given at the II Congress of the Medical Association of Santa Catarina, held in 1957, on the first day of the event, by Dr. Joaquim Madeira Neves, in his welcome discourse to the people present at the congress. When discussing the need to structure medical education on a scientific basis, the doctor reiterated the need for good and well-trained teachers; of well-equipped laboratories and availability of adequate space for practical medical training. In view of the absence of these minimum requirements for quality medical education, the installation of a medical school in Santa Catarina had been postponed.

In this sense, the president of the Regional Council of Medicine of Santa Catarina, Madeira Neves, stated that:

It is imperative that these faculties [of medicine] can only function when all precautions and bases for highly effective and up-to-date teaching are duly and dispassionately ensured. This ambition, this program of just starting straight, really responsible and useful teaching, common to the Brazilian medical class and particularly to the script of our Santa Catarina Association, prevented until recently the installation of a Faculty of Medicine (O Estado, 04/28/1957, p. 7).

Another important point highlighted by Madeira Neves concerned the lack of resources and of effective political interest in favor of the creation of a Faculty of Medicine in Santa Catarina.

Only in the last year, thanks to the interest and promised support of the high powers of the Republic and in view of the determined and concrete moral and financial support given by the Santa Catarina authorities - highlighting the Hon. Mr. Governor of the State and Hon Mr. Secretary of Health, both our fellow members, dared our Association to interfere directly in promoting this old aspiration by creating a medical school under his responsibility (O Estado, 04/28/1957, p. 7).

However, when both the Governor of the State and the Secretary of Health of Santa Catarina, in addition to physicians, were members of the Medical Association of Santa Catarina, the situation seemed to be changing. After stating that the Association had dared to interfere directly in the creation of a medical school, Madeira Neves concluded:

We believe that it [the Faculty] will begin to act in the near future, bursting forth fertile with positive teachings to decisively mark the understanding of the man of government, the preparatory work and the carrying out effort of an entire medical generation and, above all, the virtuosity and dynamism of one of the most vigorous and brilliant directorships our entity has ever had (O Estado, 04/28/1957, p. 7).

Taking upon itself the task of organizing the institution that would train future doctors in Santa Catarina, the Medical Association of Santa Catarina, over the next few years, took care of the necessary procedures for the creation of a faculty, both in its bureaucratic and technical aspects - such as choosing the future direction, vote the statute and think about the curriculum and faculty; as well as in its material aspects ─ to raise funds necessary to equip the laboratories and even to obtain adequate physical space to house the institution.

Therefore, it was necessary for a new commission to be elected to proceed with the project. At this juncture, on July 31, 1957, in an assembly of the members of the Medical Association of Santa Catarina, the Organizing Committee of the Faculty of Medicine was finally elected, with the presence and approval of the president of this society, Antônio Moniz de Aragão7, composed by doctors Roldão Consoni, president; Isaac Lobato Filho, as treasurer, and Henrique Manoel Prisco Paraíso, as secretary (O Estado, 07/31/1957, p. 8; CONSONI, 2005). But the choice of this name was not without conflicts. According to Consoni himself (2005, p. 96):

At that meeting there was an unusual event, one of the colleagues, a native of Florianópolis, launched a protest not recorded in the minutes, against the election of three outsiders - Roldão, from São Paulo, Lobato, from Maranhão and Prisco, from Bahia - and no members from Santa Catarina (CONSONI, 2005, p. 96).

The matter was then resolved:

It’s Oswaldo Rodrigues Cabral, who stands up to say that the assembly was very happy in his choice, there being nothing strange in the result, since the three colleagues, who were married women from to Santa Catarina, had honored Santa Catarina as an option to work (CONSONI, 2005, p.96).

It is necessary to consider that Roldão Consoni wrote years after the event, and that memories are always permeated by subjectivities and emotions and built with facets of the lived experience (LE GOFF, 1990). However, what this report tells us is that, just like the case of the “foreigners”, it was erased from the minutes of the Association, other tensions that may have existed in the process of creating the Faculty of Medicine may also have been forgotten, intentionally or not. .

One of the most relevant issues for the Organized Committee was related to the funds to install and equip the Faculty of Medicine. How to get money? What are the priority expenses? The controversies were probably many. And the Medical Association of Santa Catarina did not shy away from asking for government support and donations from individuals, in addition to using a means well known to the population: the raffle. As Osvaldo Melo wrote in O Estado, in January 1957:

The propaganda guided by the Medical society (sic) was large, intense and intelligent, in the sense of activating the purchase of the building or the construction of one, if necessary, where the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina will operate.

The press and broadcasters of this capital, agitate the throbbing issue, with real enthusiasm and with constant appeals for general cooperation in order to fully execute the idea in progress (O Estado, 09/01/1957, p.1).

Thus, for the journalist, it was not only necessary to wait for the public authorities, but to make efforts to assist in the noble purpose that constituted the project of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina. After all it was essential “[...] the support of those who desired to turn our Faculty into a reality; not just moral support, but, financial, at that moment, without doubt, was central” (O Estado, 09/01/1957, p.1).

About the raffle, the proposal for its realization was made by Mr. Dirceu Jendiroba, a renowned merchant, with businesses in Florianópolis and Ribeirão Preto (São Paulo), who, in support of the creation of the Faculty of Medicine, offered a Ford car - model 1955, "in good conditions” (CONSONI, 2005, p. 108). The value of the vehicle was not reported, but in 1953, an article published in the newspaper O Estado had announced a Ford - model 1951 for a minimum value of Cr$ 250,000.00 (two hundred and fifty thousand cruzeiros) (O Estado, 04/03/ 1957, p. 7).

The car donation was accepted by the Organizing Committee, which had to request legal authorization to hold the raffle, as this type of raffle was prohibited by the federal government, due to the many frauds that took place. However, a government representative could, in special cases, authorize the holding of a raffle (something that, in general, came to be called “action between friends”). Contacted by members of the Organizing Committee, the representative of the Ministry of Finance in Santa Catarina accepted the appeal to carry out the action for the benefit of the creation of the Faculty of Medicine, as the merits of the cause were evident; however, “ostensive advertising” of the raffle could not be carried out (CONSONI, 2005, p. 108). In fact, the raffle was mentioned only twice in the Florianópolis press, without highlighting or commenting, one of them announcing the winner of the draw (O Estado, 12/17/1957, p.12; 12/25/1957, p. 8).

How did people find out about the raffle? How were the tickets sold? Jendiroba himself, called an “excellent companion” by the president of the Organizing Committee, undertook to offer and sell tickets within the state (CONSONI, 2005, p.109). In and around the capital, word of mouth must have contributed to the number of people buying the raffle.

One thousand tickets were made, each worth Cr$ 1,000.00 (one thousand cruzeiros). Considering that at that time the store A Modelar, in Florianópolis, sold a pure wool coat for Cr$ 250,000 (two hundred and fifty cruzeiros) and a fur coat cost Cr$1,250.00 (one thousand, two hundred and fifty cruzeiros) (O Estado, 23/05/1957, p. 8), the numbers were not accessible for the majority of the population of Santa Catarina, but several people collaborated.

On December 21, 1957, the draw was held and the winner of the car was revealed: the owner of ticket 546, doctor Alversino Moreira Gomes, resident in the city of Camboriú (O Estado, 12/25/1957, p. 8). Contradictorily, Consoni (2005, p. 109) reported, with the difference of a few lines, that “all the numbers” of the raffle had been sold and also that the total collected with the tickets was C$ 500,000.00 (five hundred thousand cruzeiros). There is a large discrepancy between the sum of the total ticket price and the advertised amount obtained by selling the raffle numbers. Had the doctor, at the time of writing his memoirs, exaggerated the amount of tickets sold (all of them) and ended up betrayed by the total cash that resulted from the raffle?

At the end of 1957, in addition to the result of the raffle, the following donations were added (the individual value of which was not informed): from Casa Hoepecke, from Banco Inco, from Banco Paraná Santa Catarina, from Banco Crédito Real de Minas Gerais, from Caixa Econômica Federal, the Atílio Fontana Organization, the Lederle Laboratory, the Social Service of Commerce, Ambassador Edmundo da Luz Pinto, Doctor Alversino Gomes, Father Pedro Ulrich, Renax Industries, the municipalities of São José and Xaxim (CONSONI, 2005, p. 110).

Attention is drawn to the few individuals among the donors: a priest (how much or what would he have donated?), an ambassador, and Aleversino Gomes, the doctor who won the raffle. Effectively, the creation of the Faculty seemed to be the action of a restricted group: the doctors, leading the way in the enterprise, and the businessmen and managers of financial institutions, as the big donors. According to Consoni (2005, p.110), the sum of donations in 1957 was Cr$ 1,313,262.00 (one million, three hundred and thirteen thousand, two hundred and sixty-two cruzeiros). However, the list of donors and the total amount raised should be read with caution.

In an attempt to raise funds, the Medical Association of Santa Catarina appealed to the municipal governments, after all, as was published in O Estado, the Faculty of Medicine was of interest to all residents of Santa Catarina. Thus, in addition to the mayors of São José (metropolitan region of Florianópolis) and Xaxim (about 500 kilometers from the capital), still in 1957, the mayor of Camboriú, despite the “modest resources” of the city, made a donation. The amount was not mentioned, but the mayor won public praise in this newspaper: “Mayor Acácio Vieira’s gesture was received with great enthusiasm and recognition by the founders of the Faculty, an example of cooperation and goodwill in works of common interest in the state” (O Estado, 08/20/1957, p.1). The amount donated may or may not be part of the total presented by Consoni, however the municipality was not listed by the doctor among the donors.

Considering this and other articles published in the press, what became evident was that the press also played an important role in the creation of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina. First, by acting as a means of raising funds, mobilizing, with its texts, the attention of government officials, businessmen and the population in general. On the other hand, for legitimizing the undertaking launched by the Medical Association of Santa Catarina, reinforcing the importance of Santa Catarina support for the creation of a school to train doctors based on the guidelines of this Association.

As for the participation of the government of the state of Santa Catarina in the creation of the Faculty of Medicine, in addition to formal support for the initiative and work of the Organizing Committee, this happened decisively when it was necessary to equip the teaching institution.

But, before that, the physical installation of the Faculty was fundamental for the project to create this facility of higher education. More than classrooms, a medical training course required adequate space in which well-equipped laboratories could be installed.

From the first meetings of the Organizing Committee, starting from the premise that the construction, from the foundations, of a building for the Faculty of Medicine was financially unfeasible, the alternative was to consider the most suitable buildings available. Upon learning that the works on the building that would house Colégio Barriga Verde, in downtown Florianópolis, were at a standstill, the Organizing Committee decided to contact the owners of the property and request its donation to the Faculty of Medicine.

Founded in 1947 from the initiative of a group of Florianopolitans gathered in a civil society, all of them quota holders with the right to vote, Colégio Barriga Verde was supposed to be a secular secondary and scientific school in the capital of Santa Catarina. But ten years after its nominal foundation, the three-story school building was still not completed (CONSONI, 2005, p. 100). It was at this juncture that, in 1958, Drs. Roldão Consoni and Isaac Lobato Filho joined the president of this society, Dr. Pedro de Moura Ferro, a professor at the Faculty of Law of Santa Catarina. Consoni wrote (2005, p.101-102):

we showed [to Dr. Moreira Ferro] the plan to create a medical school. The illustrious master soon became aware of the magnitude of our campaign and authorized us to seek, on his behalf, all the quota holders of the society, to whom it was explained that the purpose of the college had been little changed. Instead of serving high school, the college would now serve higher education.

Continuing his narrative, the doctor recalls that, with Lobato Filho, he sought out lawyer Lauro Luiz Linhares to have him write a petition to be signed by the quota holders of Colégio Barriga Verde donating their quotas to the Faculty of Medicine. The document included a clause that determined the immediate return of quotas if the higher education institution was not created. (CONSONI, 2005).

On May 28, 1958, there was an extraordinary general meeting convened by the board of directors of the civil society Colégio Barriga Verde, with call-outs published in the newspaper O Estado, on May 15, 20, 21 and 23, 1958, with the following agenda: “ Assistance to the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina”. The results, as well as the debates and possible disagreements that occurred at this meeting were not published by the newspaper. We know that the quota holders were approached one by one by the Organizing Committee and that 61.8% of its members signed the assignment of their quotas to the new higher education institution in Santa Catarina (CONSONI, 2005). The percentage of votes indicates how many of the founders of Colégio Barriga Verde were not satisfied with the new situation, but the majority were determined to change.

This process also had the participation of high school students who, in order to obtain from the public authorities the amount needed to install the Faculty of Medicine, carried out a movement in support of the Organizing Committee, with propaganda in the written and spoken press. (O Estado, 05/29/1958, p.8; 06/11/1958, p.12).

From what O Estado reported, Pedro de Moura Ferro's decision about donating the building to the Faculty was influenced by his conversation with high school students from that movement. According to the newspaper,

As the youths of the 3rd scientific group said, while in conversation with the director of Barriga Verde, Dr. Pedro de Moura Ferro, was enthusiastic about this movement worthy of praise, and promised to facilitate this building for the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina (O Estado, 29/05/1958, p.8).

On June 6, 1958, students returned to the pages of O Estado, to explain their actions to the population, in partnership with the doctors of the Medical Association of Santa Catarina, so that the Faculty of Medicine could be put into operation.

Informed by the president of the Organizing Committee that for the Faculty of Medicine to start operating in 1959, in addition to the funds already received, it was urgent to define the place of installation of the institution and raise at least another Cr$ 500,000.00 (five hundred thousand cruzeiros) for the most urgent expenses; the high school students tried to get in touch with the governor of Santa Catarina, but were unsuccessful, “although the hearing was scheduled well in advance”, according to what was published in O Estado. The students were at this impasse when the donation of the Colégio Barriga Verde building to the Faculty of Medicine was announced; At the same time, the young people also received support from the Florianópolis City Council, which, through the intervention of councilors Antônio Apostolo and Carmelo Faraco, sent the state governor a request for collaboration “with the cause of students”: a sum of Cr$ 500,000.00 (five hundred thousand cruzeiros) for the installation of the Faculty of Medicine. (O Estado, 06/11/1958, p.12).

But the requests to the government of Santa Catarina already had a history. In 1958, Governor Jorge Lacerda, who was a doctor who graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of Paraná, donated ten insurance policies totaling Cr$ 10,000,000.00 (ten million cruzeiros) with interest of 5% per year to the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina. Catarina - the institution should manage and spend the interest earned by the policies (CONSONI, 2005, p. 104).

In the same year, about a month after the publication of the students' declaration in the newspaper O Estado, Jorge Lacerda died in a plane crash and was replaced by his deputy, Heribelrto Hulse, who donated Cr$ 5,200,000.00 (five million and 200 thousand cruzeiros) more for the Faculty, in addition to stipulating an annual budget in the state budget of Cr$ 3,000,000.00 (three million cruzeiros) (CONSONI, 2005, p. 105). It is not by chance that Heribelrto Hulse is called by Consoni (2005, p.105) the “great benefactor of the Faculty”.

Adding up the money raised from the raffle, private donations and state government grants, finally, in 1959, the building received in donation was duly adapted and successfully completed to receive the facilities for a medical training course. Thus, on March 4, 1959, as the final chapter of a saga, the newspaper O Estado announced on the front page and with the headline highlighted: “Having its own headquarters, the Faculty of Medicine is now on its way to the equipment phase. The first twenty microscopes arrived” (O Estado, 03/04/1959, p.1). The article stated:

It is with this money [Cr$ 1,150,000.00] that the installation of laboratories is starting. The first twenty microscopes arrived a few days ago, acquired after a careful study carried out by one of the members of the Board of Directors, in Rio de Janeiro. They are Polish microscopes, manufactured in Warsaw, two of the M-440 type, for teachers, and eighteen of the M-110 type, for students. All of them perfectly fulfill the purposes for which they are intended. This first batch of microscopes cost four hundred and thirty thousand cruzeiros. Currently, the Board of Directors is studying proposals from five importing companies for the acquisition of another fifteen microscopes, in addition to other devices (O Estado, 03/04/1959, p.1).

At the beginning of 1959, with the laboratories equipped and the building finished, the expectation was that the Faculty of Medicine would start its activities soon.

In the midst of all this process, still in November 1958, Renato Barbosa, a professor at the Faculty of Law and also a journalist and writer, published an article in the newspaper O Estado reporting on actions undertaken by professors at the Faculty of Law in order to approve the functioning of the medical teaching institution:

We will soon have the Faculty of Medicine that will be able to operate in 1960. The establishment's creation already has a history, which needs to be told, from now on, before contractors appear. This time the federal government entered the beautiful (sic) parade. The Director of the Faculty of Law of Santa Catarina surrounded himself, in the leading organs of Higher Education in the country, with great and deserved personal prestige (O Estado, 11/20/1958, p.1).

Renato Barbosa follows the narrative by reporting the contact between the director of the Faculty of Law, judge João Davi Ferreira Lima, and himself, with Jurandir Lodi, director of Higher Education at the Ministry of Education at that time and who, in this capacity, presided over the Education Council. Higher education institution that evaluated requests to create an educational institution at that level. Barbosa describes:

When Professor Ferreira Lima arrived at the office that morning, Dr. Lodi, was saying to him very happily: “Director, I found the formula to have our - the possessive is textual - Faculty of Medicine in Santa Catarina”. And he explained “there is a project in the Senate about the Faculty of Medicine of Bahia. I know the project number is 13. You will do the rest, Director” And Ferreira Lima right there, in the Higher Education office, wrote a menu and amendment to the Bahia project (O Estado, 11/20/1958, p.1).

Renato Barbosa continues his narrative by stating that the project was sent to the Santa Catarina senator Francisco Gallotti, with the request that he also obtain the signature of the other two senators from Santa Catarina, Carlos Gomes de Oliveira and Saulo Ramos, and so he could continue in the Senate.

At the end of his report, which considered the professors of the Faculty of Law as authors of the decisive initiative to create the Faculty of Medicine, Renato Barbosa called on the students of Santa Catarina and their representative bodies to put pressure on the authorities of Santa Catarina in order to accelerate the processing of the proposal.

It is necessary to consider that, in his eagerness to communicate the news that he thought was good news, professor Renato Barbosa, strategically, may have given up on expressing his own actions and those of the director of the Faculty of Law, describing the great empathy with Jurandir Lodi. And Barbosa does not mention any kind of previous conversation with doctors from Santa Catarina, or if some of these doctors at least supported the initiative of the law professors.

The submission of the request for the creation of the Faculty also raises doubts, based on an “additive to the Bahian project”; project that obviously was not for the creation of an educational institution (but about an institution that completed one hundred and fifty years in 1958) and that would already be in the Senate. Even if the cordiality and mutual admiration between these people from Santa Catarina and Lodi were very great, the Council and perhaps the Minister of Education himself could not approve such celerity.

In another perspective, the article by Renato Barbosa shows how the process of creating the Faculty of Medicine effectively involved the professors of the Faculty of Law, even if such participation has been minimized in the memorialistic accounts of some doctors (CONSONI 2005; SÃO THIAGO, 1996). It is interesting to remember that there were personal relationships between some members of the faculty of the Faculty of Law and significant names in the medical field of Santa Catarina, such as the case of judge João Davi Ferreira Lima, son of Hygiene Inspector Joaquim Davi Ferreira Lima. However, as would become increasingly evident in the following months, this interest was linked to the desire to create the University of Santa Catarina, something that would not have been viable without the new Faculty.

But the year 1958 came to an end and the weeks of the new year began to pass. It was after the laboratories were installed in the place where the future Faculty would function that, in May 1959, a meeting was reported in the library of the Chamber of Deputies, between doctors and politicians from Santa Catarina (O Estado, 19/05/1959, p.8 ). Present were senators Irineu Bornhausen (who replaced Carlos Gomes de Oliveira this year), Saulo Ramos and Francisco Gallotti, deputies Konder Reis, Lenoir Vargas Ferreira and Aroldo de Carvalho; in addition to doctors Albino Zente, Secretary of Health and Social Assistance; Isaac Lobato, Mario Ferreira and Roldão Consoni, from the Santa Catarina Medicine Association and already defined, respectively, professors and director of the Faculty.

The purpose of the meeting was to “draw a plan” of action with the Higher Education Council, with the objective of obtaining authorization for the operation of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina in the following year (O Estado, 05/19/1959, p. .8). There is no information about this plan and there was not even mention of the initiative carried out in the previous year by the professors of the Faculty of Law. What happened was the decision to reiterate to the federal authorities the feasibility of creating the Faculty and the need to train more doctors for Santa Catarina. Dr. Roldão Consoni was in charge of talking to the authorities in Rio de Janeiro.

The first step, everyone knew, was the approval by the Higher Education Council of the feasibility of the new medical school. Despite all the legal requirements apparently contemplated and information forwarded, the Council's decision took time. Dr. Consoni then traveled to Rio de Janeiro to speak with the director of the Council, Jurandir Lodi.

According to Consoni's report (2005, p.117), Lodi was “reticent at the beginning, frankly favorable at the end”, even helping in several stages of the authorization process,but approval depended on the counselors.

The Higher Education Council was formed by thirteen people, from different states of the country, who exercised an honorary function and were chosen among individuals of “high social projection”. Several meetings did not have a quorum and decisions were postponed. Consoni then personally approached the members of the Higher Education Council who were at the time in the federal capital, to explain the importance of the functioning of the Faculty of Medicine in Santa Catarina and, consequently, of the presence at the Council meeting in which the decision was to be based. (CONSONI, 2005, p. 118).

The installation and operation of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina approved. In his memoirs Roldão Consoni (2005) recalls December 23, 1959 as the date of approval for the operation of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina, the newspaper O Estado reported this fact almost a month earlier. On the 28th of November 1959, on the front page, this form reported:

At a meeting held on the 25th at the Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Council of Education (sic) unanimously appreciated and approved the process for authorization of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina. As a result of this resolution, the Faculty will begin its activities next February, when university entrance exams will be held; enrollment will open in January, offering 28 places to candidates for the medical course (O Estado, 11/28/1959).

Perhaps both the doctor and the newspaper article were referring to the Higher Education Council's decision. The newspaper, on the day it was carried out, and Dr. Consoni may have recalled the date when the councilors' decision was published.

And it wasn't just in Florianópolis that there was celebration. On the 5h of December , the newspaper Correio do Povo, from the city of Jaraguá do Sul, welcomed the approval of the functioning of the Faculty of Medicine and, forgetting the Medical Association of Santa Catarina and others involved, praised the state governor, who would be receiving “many congratulations for the joyful event” (Correio do Povo, 12/05/1959, p.1).

However, despite the many congratulations, it was from Decree No. 47,531, of December 29, 1959, signed by President Juscelino Kubitschek and Minister Clóvis Salgado, that the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina effectively came into existence. The Decree determined:

Single article. Authorization is granted for the operation of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina, maintained by the civil society of the same name, based in Florianópolis, in the State of Santa Catarina. (BRASIL, 1959).

Three years have passed since the Medical Association of Santa Catarina brought together doctors and other social and political groups, in December 1956, who took on the commitment to create the long-awaited Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina. Since then, several efforts have been made by doctors from Santa Catarina, students, the state government, the press, professors at the Faculty of Law and other members of society to create a medical education institution.

The day after the announcement of the approval of the Faculty of Medicine by the Higher Education Council, in November 1959, journalist Osvaldo Melo commented on the benefits that this educational institution would bring to Santa Catarina, particularly to its capital:

It will raise the cultural level of the state. The university spirit will take on greater importance, attracting students from other states to Florianópolis, the Faculty's headquarters, for the formation of this natural and profitable exchange among all students in the country. (O Estado, 11/29/1959, p.8).

In the words of Melo, who repeated the enthusiasm and updated the considerations written three years earlier (O Estado, 12/21/1956, p.8), the Faculty of Medicine would bring with it the auspices of a more modern Florianópolis, engaged with the vaunted development in other parts of the country. The presence of students, as this journalist believed, would mean a movement that, in addition to removing what many identified as “tranquility and sluggishness” (LOHN, 2007, p. 301), would contribute to transforming Florianopolis residents, and Santa Catarina residents in general, expanding their horizons. It is difficult to measure whether this happened or not, but the creation of the Faculty of Medicine redirected the training of doctors in Santa Catarina and, certainly, the educational actions they undertook in caring for the population.

Final Thoughts

“The university spirit will take on greater importance”, these were the words chosen by Osvaldo Melo to describe what the creation of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina would represent in the Florianopolitan scenario (O Estado, 11/29/1959, p.8). And the institution actually meant a fundamental step towards consolidating the plan to found a university in this state.

If, on the one hand, the Faculty of Medicine had the doctors from Santa Catarina themselves as protagonists, through its association, on the other hand, it also counted on the efforts of students, governors and professors of the Faculty of Law of Santa Catarina. In this sense, the journalist Osvaldo Melo seemed to express the feeling not of a group, but an ideal that brought together different sectors of Santa Catarina's society, and that became effective with the creation of the University of Santa Catarina, in December 1960

But, essential to the creation of the University, the Faculty of Medicine represented mainly the convergence of efforts, that initially weren't very articulated with each other, of physicians who gradually evidenced permanent medical training actions beyond the faculties they had attended. Thus, the Faculty would be the great reference of what to do and how to fight diseases or maintain the health of the population. A new chapter in the history of the training of doctors and the education of the population in health was starting in Santa Catarina.


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1English version by Emilio Ben Barreto Freire. E-mail:

2According to Mendonça, 2000, the 1950s were marked by an expressive growth of higher education in Brazil. The number of universities grew from 5, in 1945, to 37, in 1964, many of which were federal universities, created as part of the federalization of state and private universities. Considering the institutions of higher education themselves, the number grew from 293 in 1945 to 564 in 1964.

3Translated from portuguese, originally: Associação Catarinense de Medicina.

4An exam that people do in Brazil to become undergraduate students.

5It was the Student Union of Santa Catarina (UCE) that called the meeting, because it was, officially, the organ that congregated the studentes. Although it was the students from Colégio Catarinense that took the lead of the movement.

6Translated from portuguese, originally: União Catarinense dos Estudantes (UCE).

7Antônio Moniz Aragão, born in Rio de Janeiro, graduated in medicine from the National University of Medicine, fixed residence in Santa Catarina in 1940, when he took over the management of the Military Hospital. He was president of the Medical Association of Santa Catarina between 1955 and 1959, constituting himself as one of the actors of the foundation of the Faculty of Medicine of Santa Catarina. Also he was President of the National Medical Association between the years of 1961 and 1963.

Received: April 06, 2022; Accepted: June 19, 2022

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