In 1810, the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence triggered radical political, social and economic changes, including the reorganization of the medical profession. During this tumultuous period of transition, physicians and surgeons merged and monopolized the field to ensure their professional survival in a post-colonial, liberal republic. Tracing the reorganization of various medical occupations in Mexico from the final decades of the colonial period to the beginning of the Porfiriato in 1870, Carving a Niche determines that factors such as competition and collaboration, identity, ever-changing legislation, political instability, and foreign intervention resulted in a complex, gradual, and unique process of medical professionalization that neither resembled nor conformed to theoretical models or hierarchies found in other parts of the world. Through extensive research, Luz María Hernández Sáenz analyses the uphill struggle of practitioners to reclaim their place as public health experts and to provide and control medical education despite seemingly unsurmountable odds. Highlighting the importance of race, class, gender, and nationality, Carving a Niche demonstrates that, in the case of Mexico, liberal reforms so often praised by traditional works often hindered, rather than promoted, the creation of a modern medical profession.--$cProvided by publisher.