Global research on medical and health-related issues has experienced a profound reconfiguration over the last 30 years. The rise of new areas of inquiry has transformed the medical research landscape as staff with medical training gradually relinquished their prominence and specialists from other disciplines raised their profile within research teams. Given this, research priorities seem to be shifting increasingly towards laboratory-based and innovation-oriented research lines. The unfolding of these shifts in nonhegemonic countries such as Mexico is still to be understood. This paper surveys structural changes in Mexican medical research from 1993 to 2021 by observing temporal aggregation of authorships, emerging thematic features, and institutional affiliation patterns. It also explores correlations between these findings and their possible explanations. The results allow us to empirically describe significant changes in medical research done in Mexico. We detected periods of stability in authorship allowing us to describe stages in the accumulation of research and development (R&D) capabilities. The identified semantic patterns allowed us to characterize this transformation, observing subsequent stages of an accumulation and specialization process that began in the mid-1990s. Moreover, we found divergent thematic and institutional patterns that point towards a growing gap between research conducted in health institutions and scientific ones.

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Handling Editor: Gabriel Velez Cuartas

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