In recent years, the chemical potential of bismuth and bismuth compounds has been actively exploited. Bismuth salts are known for their low toxicity, making them potential valuable reagents for large-scale synthesis, which becomes more obvious when dealing with products such as active pharmaceutical ingredients or synthetic intermediates. Conversely, bismuth compounds have been widely used in medicine. After extensive use in the treatments of syphilis and other bacterial infections before the advent of modern antibiotics, bismuth compounds remain important for the treatment of several gastrointestinal disorders and also exhibit antimicrobial properties and cytotoxic activity, among others. This review updates relevant advances in the past few years, concerning the application of bismuth reagents and catalysts in innovative synthetic processes for the preparation of compounds of medicinal interest, as well as the preparation, biological evaluation and potential medicinal uses of bismuth compounds.