Hospital name: Hospital Dona Estefânia, Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Central

Hospital address: Rua Jacinta Marto, 1169-045 Lisboa, PORTUGAL

There are several opportunities for clinical observerships at Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department at Hospital Dona Estefânia (HDE) for both inpatients and outpatients units.

As clinical observers, residents will be highly involved in all clinical and academic activities that happen at the institution. However:

  • Since there are several specialized units the clinical observer should choose a primary area of interest and will be attached to this team but involvement with other teams may be arranged, including the CAP Emergency Service;
  • You should keep in mind that the starting date of your program will have to be negotiated between the Clinical Observer and clinical program team, based on availability. It should be noted that many clinical programs at HDE accept residents from different specialties and medical students for formal training programs. Given that each clinical program can only accommodate a limited number of Clinical Observers, at times there may not be any observership opportunities available.
  • Clinical observers are allowed to be present while the consultant is interviewing the patient but patient consent is always required and respected. Keep in mind that patients are not obliged to accept the presence of a visitor during the interview.
  1. Acute Inpatient Programme

The Clinical observer is able to choose from one of the available inpatient units for a clinical observership:

Unidade de Pedopsiquiatria, HDE: This Child and Adolescent Psychiatry ward has 16 beds and is dedicated to the treatment of several mental disorders of children and adolescents with the age limit of 17 y.o. It is one of the three national CAP inpatient units. Patients have daily specific group interventions, like psychomotricity, occupational therapy or music therapy, as well as individual interventions. There are also daily clinical meetings, where the individual clinical state and therapeutic plan are discussed between the mental health professionals. There is a specific program for Eating Disorders, with a “step-by-step” approach for anorexia nervosa patients.

During your exchange, you will be able to attend the clinical meetings, the patient interviews and join some therapeutic groups. The consultants at this unit are also responsible for the Liasion CAP in other pediatric wards, so you might be able to join them in this work.

  • Unidade Partilhada, HDE-CHPL: This is a transition psychiatry unit, with 22 beds for adolescents and young adults from 15 to 25 y.o. with mental health disorders. It is a recent project that was born from the collaboration between HDE and Centro Hospitalar Psiquiátrico de Lisboa (CHPL). The team consists of General Psychiatrists and Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, who are responsible for their respective age group patients. Besides individual intervention (medical and psychological, if needed), there are also group therapies, like sociodrama or mindfulness. There is a weekly clinical meeting with all the mental health professionals to discuss all inpatients.

During your exchange, you will join the CAP team in their daily work. You can join some of the therapeutic groups and the clinical meetings.

  1. Infant Mental Health Program

Unidade da Primeira Infância (UPI) – Centro de Estudos do Bebé e da Criança (CEBC), HDE: This is an outpatient Infant Mental Health Unit with specialized care for babies and toddlers as old as 36 months. It integrates the CEBC, a collaboration between HDE’s CAP and Pediatric Departments. The CAP team includes not only CAP consultants and trainees but also a psychologist, nurses and an occupational therapist, and collaborates with the neurologic and developmental pediatricians, psychologist and speech therapist of the Pediatric team. UPI is specialized in autism spectrum disorder and adopts the DIR/Floortime approach to babies and toddlers. There is a specific approach in first visits of 12 to 24 months-old babies, where the “UPI Paradigm” is filmed, an adaptation of Mary Ainsworth’s “Strange Situation”. This recording is then discussed with all the team at weekly meetings, which allows a richer discussion and evaluation of each case.

During your exchange, you will be able to join in the consultant clinical activities as well as to participate in the clinical discussions during the clinical meetings. You might also be able to attend some specific Floortime and/or occupational therapy interventions.

Length of the programme: 2-6 weeks

Periods available: February to July and August to January; outer – preferable in the summer months (more availability)


Level of English required: Good (most clinical staff with being able to communicate in English)

Local language: recommended, especially if you plan to participate in group therapy activities

Other requirements: Proof of Medical Residency and permission from the trainee’s institution for leave of absence is required

Travel information:

Visa needed? Check with the embassy

Travel and health insurance needed: highly recommended

Accommodation: no

Useful websites:

Additional info:

Local coordinator: Ana Teresa Prata