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Homeopathy ‘for Mexicans’: Medical Popularization, Commercial Endeavors, and Patients’ Choice in the Mexican Medical Marketplace, 1853-1872

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dc.contributor.author Hernandez Berrones, Jethro
dc.date.accessioned 2018-03-08T19:28:35Z
dc.date.available 2018-03-08T19:28:35Z
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.identifier.citation Hernández, B. J. (January 01, 2017). Homeopathy for Mexicans: Medical popularisation, commercial endeavours and patients' choice in the Mexican medical marketplace, 1853-1872. Medical History, 61, 568-589. en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11214/210
dc.description This is an accepted manuscript of an article published in Medical History, 61, 568-589. https://doi.org/10.1017/mdh.2017.59 en_US
dc.description.abstract This paper focuses on homeopaths’ strategies to popularise homeopathy from 1850 to 1870. I argue that homeopaths created a space for homeopathy in Mexico City in the mid-nineteenth century by facilitating patients’ access to medical knowledge, consultation and practice. In this period, when national and international armed conflicts limited the diffusion and regulation of academic medicine, homeopaths popularised homeopathy by framing it as a life-enhancing therapy with tools that responded to patients’ needs. Patients’ preference for homeopathy evolved into commercial endeavours that promoted the practice of homeopathy through the use of domestic manuals. Using rare publications and archival records, I analyse the popularisation of homeopathy in Ramón Comellas’s homeopathic manual, the commercialisation of Julián González’s family guides, and patients’ and doctors’ reception of homeopathy. I show that narratives of conversion to homeopathy relied on the different experiences of patients and trained doctors, and that patients’ positive experience with homeopathy weighed more than the doctors’ efforts to explain to the public how academic medicine worked. The fact that homeopaths and patients used a shared language to describe disease experiences framed the possibility of a horizontal transmission of medical knowledge, opening up the possibility for patients to become practitioners. By relying on the long tradition of domestic medicine in Mexico, the popularisation of homeopathy disrupted the professional boundaries that academic physicians had begun to build, making homeopaths the largest group that challenged the emergent medical academic culture and its diffusion in Mexico in the nineteenth century. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Medical History en_US
dc.subject Homeopathy en_US
dc.subject Popularisation of medicine en_US
dc.subject Domestic medicine en_US
dc.subject Patients’ choice en_US
dc.subject Medical profession en_US
dc.subject Mexico en_US
dc.title Homeopathy ‘for Mexicans’: Medical Popularization, Commercial Endeavors, and Patients’ Choice in the Mexican Medical Marketplace, 1853-1872 en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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