Pathophysiology at NOVA Medical School adopted the concept mapping methodology to promote the visual display of pathophysiological reasoning and learning, based on clinical vignettes. The objective of this project is to identify and label the linking words, in order to study their role in the structure and organization of the concept maps constructed by the students. We used an adopted classification of linking words, categorized in 5 groups: dynamic, static, illustrative, definition and clinical case information. At the end of the semester the concept maps related to the respiratory (mid-semester) and endocrine systems (end of semester) were analyzed and compared. We found linking words not included in any of the five categories, thus a group named "other" has been created. Statistically significant differences were found in dynamic and "other" categories (p=0,049 and p=0,011, respectively; Wilcoxon signed-rank test). The dynamic words were the most commonly used, probably reflecting students' need to better describe pathophysiological mechanisms, and the difference found was probably due an improvement in the learning process and concept maps building technic. It would be interesting next year to conduct a more detailed analysis, increasing the sample and ensuring a more robust dataset.