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Margaret of Ypres (fl. 1322)

Margaret of Ypres (fl. 1322)

Surgeon of Paris . Flourished in 1322 in Paris.

Margaret of Ypres, a well-known Paris surgeon, built a successful practice using her empirical knowledge and common-sense methods. In 1322, she was caught in the ban on unlicensed physicians issued by the faculty of the University of Paris. Rather than being meant to ensure good medicine for Parisians, this restriction was principally designed to eliminate competition for university-trained doctors. Although it affected some male practitioners who were unable to afford formal schooling, the ban primarily affected women, who by definition were prohibited from such scholarship. Margaret was arrested for practicing without a degree but was not held in custody long. It is unknown whether she continued working after this period or not.


Klapisch-Zuber, Christiane, ed. A History of Women in the West, vol. II: Silences of the Middle Ages. Cambridge: Belknap/Harvard, 1992.

Uitz, Erika. The Legend of Good Women: The Liberation of Women in Medieval Cities. Wakefield, RI: Moyer Bell, 1988.

Laura York , Riverside, California

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