Multimedia Object: Podcast episode ID: CBB027816130

Luz María Hernández Sáenz, “Carving a Niche: The Medical Profession in Mexico 1800-1870” (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2018) (2020)


In Carving a Niche: The Medical Profession in Mexico 1800-1870 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018), Luz María Hernández Sáenz follows the trajectory of physicians in their quest for the professionalization of medicine in Mexico. In the nineteenth century, medical practitioners sought to earn scientific and professional recognition both at home an internationally, and in doing so, they created institutions that shaped their profession, and sought to establish a monopoly in the realm of public health. Hernández Sáenz places this story in an international context and demonstrates the importance of the French model in the establishment of a modern medical profession in Mexico. Significantly, we see how medical institutions changed as Mexico transitioned from a colonial society to a liberal, independent republic. As we hear by the end of the interview, Mexican medical practitioners were eventually successful in earning professional status, and in monopolizing medical knowledge, however, they did not oust their rivals, nor they managed to turn medicine into a priority for local and national governments. This is particularly important in the context of the current global pandemic for as Hernández Sáenz tells us, many of the problems that preoccupied physicians and government officials in the nineteenth century, still accompany us today. Chief among them is the subordination of matters of public health to economic interests, an important consideration for listeners interested in thinking how the past informs our present. Luz María Hernández Sáenz is an emerita professor at the University of Western Ontario.

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Book Luz María Hernández Sáenz (2018) Carving a Niche: The Medical Profession in Mexico, 1800-1870. unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Furdell, Elizabeth Lane
McCrae, Morrice
Lawrenson, Ross
McCrea, Heather L.
Carrillo, Ana María
Laveaga, Gabriela Soto
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Historical Research: The Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research
Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin Canadienne d'Histoire de la Medecine
University of Rochester Press
John Donald
University of New Mexico Press
University of Oregon
McGill-Queen's University Press
Medicine and society
Physicians; doctors
Professions and professionalization
Public health
Disease and diseases
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
20th century, early
20th century
17th century
United States
New Zealand
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

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