the school of tropical medicine was founded in 1902 along with the colonial hospital of lisbon. the portuguese government recognized the importance of colonising the tropics and therefore supported the creation of a specific locus of medical training that would prove to be crucial to the clinical and experimental study of tropical diseases. this paper examines the importance of such institutions for the emergence of a new scientific area of research while also functioning as a consolidation factor for the third portuguese colonial empire. the creation of a new concept of medical practice with respect to tropical diseases characterizes a specific aspect of colonization: it underlies and drives the discourse of colonization itself. consultation of data collected by the portuguese tropical school and the colonial hospital during the period between 1902 and 1935, the starting point of the present study, seeks to shed light on the ongoing debate concerning the history of tropical medicine within european colonial discourse.