The Puerto Rico Journal of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (1925-1950): From a Health Department Bulletin to a UPR School of Tropical Medicine Scientific Journal

Raúl Mayo-Santana


This essay presents a history of the scientific journal of the University of Puerto Rico, School of Tropical Medicine (STM) under the auspices of Columbia University: The Puerto Rico Journal of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. This is the third article in a historical series about the STM, and includes supporting information relevant to the forthcoming articles on the school’s scientific endeavors. This article is conceived as a history from the perspective of the literature of journal genre in the field of tropical medicine. The STM scientific journal, precursor of the Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal, had five main stages. First (1925-1927), originated as an official bulletin of the Health Department (Porto Rico Health Review). Second (1927-1929), became a project of mutual collaboration between the Health Department and the STM, and the publication’s title reflected the fields of public health and tropical medicine. Third (1929-1932), acquired a scientific focus as it changed to a quarterly science publication. Fourth (1932-1942), became a fully bilingual journal and acquired its definitive name. Fifth (1942-1950), the final phase in which the first Puerto Rican Director became the principal editor until the Journal’s dissolution. The analysis of authorship and the content analysis of the topics of diseases, public health and basic sciences, clarify the history of tropical medicine during the first half of the 20th century in Puerto Rico. The article highlights major symbolic events that delve into the understanding of a collaborative exemplar of the modernity of medical science.


PR Health Department, Scientific journal, Journal history, PRHSJ

Full Text:


Published by the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus
Founded in 1982