Elena Maseras, First Woman to Study  Medicine in The University of Barcelona
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Elena Maseras, First Woman to Study Medicine in The University of Barcelona

Elena Maseras

She was born on May 25, 1853 in Vilaseca, Spain, raised in a family of doctors, she decided to follow in her family’s footsteps when she finished her bachelor of arts, but it was quite a challenge. She had to obtain a royal order from King Armadeo of Savoy, which allowed women to study in a private regime, but not attend classes.

In 1872 she began her studies at the Barcelona Faculty of Medicine as a free student. In 1875, Professor Narcís Carbón admitted her to his classroom and that’s how she could take a face-to-face class.

In 1878 she concluded her studies and requested to take the licensure exam, the Ministry of Public Instruction took just over 3 years to grant her permission, while she waited, Elena studied to be a teacher, the same profession that she would practice for the rest of her life.

In June 1882 she was finally given permission to take the exam, which she managed to pass with an excellent grade, but due to the bureaucratic difficulties she had to face, she decided not to do a doctorate and did not practice medicine. Instead, she taught as a Superior Teacher of Barcelona and Vilanova y la Geltrú until 1890, when she went to live in the city of Mahón where she taught at the first public school for girls.

At the same time as a teacher, Elena also wrote for a Republican and Democratic newspaper called “El Pueblo”. Her articles covered health, culture and leisure topics.

In 1905, Elena died in Mahón of a heart disease. In 2006, in Barcelona he named in her honor, the gardens inside a block of Eixample next to the Building of External Consultations of the Clinical Hospital.


Colegio Oficial de Médicos de Barcelona. Elena Maseras i Ribera. Biografía. Colegio Oficial de Médicos de Barcelona. Retrieved on August 9th 2020 from: http://www.galeriametges.cat/galeria-fitxa.php?icod=HDH#googtrans(ca|es)