After the Spanish conquest of Mexico in 1521, a remarkably swift institutionalisation and dispersal of European medicine followed the arrivals of the first physicians and printing presses in Nueva España. Yet the earliest known publications on New World medicine were produced in Spain, and were not based on direct personal experience, but on recently compiled material and secondary information from the Americas. The first printed work by a Spanish physician with direct experience from the newly conquered territories was Cristóbal Méndez’s Libro del exercicio corporal y sus provechos (1553). This comprised a small treatise on the importance of exercise and hygiene with only scattered anecdotes of Mendez’s own medical training in Guatemala and Mexico between 1534 and 1545. This 1553 publication coincided with the foundation of the University of Mexico, which was established even before the similarly developed Universities of Barcelona and Zaragoza. While medicine was taught at this institution from the very beginning, a formal medical chair was not created until 1578. This first university chair of medicine in the New World was held by Juan de la Fuente, a medical laureate from the University of Alcalá de Henares, who retained the new professorship until his death in 1595. An inventory of the medical books brought to Mexico by de la Fuente in 1561 has survived and includes Vesalius’ Fabrica. This first appearance of Vesalius in a New World context is another indication of the spread of Vesalian anatomy throughout the Spanish kingdoms, independent of the anatomist’s own contemporary residence in Spain.1