Matilde Montoya | The first female doctor in Mexico


14 March 1859 – 26 January 1939

The first female doctor in Mexico

Matilde Montoya

Matilde Montoya.

Jimlop collection / Alamy

Matilde Montoya was the first woman to practise medicine in Mexico, earning a doctorate in 1887 and specialising in surgery and obstetrics. Montoya’s legacy inspired the establishment of better education opportunities for women in Mexico.

Born in Mexico City in 1859, Montoya was encouraged to study from a young age by her mother, Soledad Lafragua. She completed her formal education by the age of 12 and earned a degree to become a midwife by 16, spending the next two years practising her profession in the city of Puebla, central Mexico.

While enjoying a successful career as a midwife, Montoya received abuse from doctors who orchestrated a hate campaign against her in local newspapers. Despite the resistance she encountered, she applied to the National…

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