Historical points on the training of medical specialists in Mexico from the evolution of educational theory

Apuntes históricos sobre la formación de médicos especialistas en México desde la evolución educativaa

a Instituto de Salud Pública, Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Veracruz, México

Recibido el 15 de diciembre de 2016; aceptado el 21 de marzo de 2017

Palabras Clave

Médicos residentes; Educación de médicos especialistas; Evolución educativa; Mercado de trabajo médico


Residents; Education for specialists; Evolution of the educational theory;
Medical labour market


Introduction: A study was conducted into the Training of Specialist Physicians in Mexico from the perspective of the Evolution of Educational Theory. According to this theory, the professional training begins with the Artisan Stage, where the apprentice immediately joins the working population. Subsequently, knowledge, abilities and professional attitudes are organised in education programs at autonomous school institutions from a work setting, characteristics of the School Stage. Can the Evolution of Educational Theory provide knowledge about the history of training specialised physicians in Mexico?

Objective: To explore the relevance of the approach and, if necessary, answer the question. Method A review, taking into account the Evolution of Educational Theory, the literature on training specialist physicians in Mexico, recognition of postgraduate education as part of the course of studies at the School of Medicine of Autonomous National University of Mexico, and the Medical movement during the period 1964-1965.

Results: When training specialists physicians in Mexico, throughout the 20th century, the roles of student and worker are linked, first in the apprentice and then in the resident. That is to say, the Artisan Stage can be clearly identified. In this stage three periods can be distinguished: tutorial, conformational, and university backing. During the Medical Movement, from the period 1964-1965 the residents demanded to be recognised as workers. They were defined as workers in the Federal Labour Law passed in 1970.

Conclusions: The 1970 Federal Labour Law validated the Artisan Stage to train specialists and guaranteed the workforce for health institutions and subordinated the education process to work. Thus, both the School Stage and the unfolding of the potential available nationwide to train specialists are impossible to achieve.