This essay analyzes the current state of the field of history of health and medicine in Latin America and proposes questions and areas for further investigation. Using a variety of databases to identify relevant historiographical sources from across the Americas, the authors focus on a range of subjects that have substantially engaged contemporary historians while opening up still more research avenues. These include the health of diverse populations; new perspectives on religion and on women’s health; the historicizing of health systems, health politics, and social medicine; and the local-global nexus in Latin American health and medicine. These themes both draw from and extend beyond those addressed in pathbreaking works such as Nancy Leys Stepan’s Beginnings of Brazilian Science. Among the most stimulating developments of recent years are the incorporation of interdisciplinary perspectives on historical analysis, and the elucidation of regional patterns of and preoccupations with the interrelations among state, society, and medicine. The proliferation of historical knowledge regarding the health and medical landscape of Latin America has made this one of the most dynamic fields in historical scholarship today. The authors conclude by discussing emerging methodological and theoretical challenges, including Cold War studies and postcolonialism, and by reflecting on the shared scholarly and political responsibilities of Latin Americanists.

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