The neighborhood was planned by Francisco Lascuráin in 1889, in an area called "La Indianilla". This name came from three indigenous women named María Clara, María Concepción and María Paula sold some of their land here to Father Domingo Pérez Barcia to build a small chapel. However, Lascuràin never followed through with his plans to construct the neighborhood. In 1895, The Mexican City Propiety Sindicate Limited proposed the plan to lay out the neighborhood anew, gaining approval of the Mexico City ayuntamiento. The major streets such as Niños Heroes, Dr. Lavista, and Dr. Río de la Loza were laid out.
Originally the colonia was called "Hidalgo" but, as almost all of the streets here are named after famous physicians, the area became known as "Doctores," leading to its current official name.
In 1880, Ramón Guzmán, owner of an enterprise of streetcars pulled by mules, established a yard there for the maintenance and storage of his vehicles. Today the Procuraduría de Justicia del D.F. (Court house of the Federal District) is located in its place. A couple of decades later, a large part of this area was owned by the Compañía de Tranvías, also known as the Mexican Electric Transway, serving as a trainyard as well as housing workshops for the maintenance and repair of rail cars. This service began in 1900. Train engineers, who worked all hours, gave rise to vendors selling food, especially chicken soup ("caldo de pollo") in the late night and early morning hours. This tradition remains and the area is noted for its soup.
The General Hospital of Mexico (Hospital General de Mexico) was inaugurated on 5 February 1905 and covers seventeen hectares. Today, the hospital employs 6,000 professionals including doctors, nurses, technicians, paramedics and administrators. Each day, the hospital treats 3,000 outpatients, discharges about 112 inpatients, and performs 164 surgeries and other invasive procedures. It has 39 medical specialties in treatment, diagnostics and rehabilitation, providing care at the secondary and terciary level.
The hospital also receives each year 1,163 medical students and 447 residents as well as 1,624 nursing students and other paramedical trainees. It is also a research hospital with 70 investigators, 27% of whom are members of Mexico's National System of Researchers (SNI), publishing about 158 articles each year.