(H.) E. R.
"She-Doctors: The Feminine Call to Medical Care" is a fascinating essay on the role of women in history, starting from the ancient Mother Goddess and her priestesses on Earth to the she-healers and wiccas then changed into "witches" by the male-dominated society, all the way up to their positive revival during the Late Middle Ages and especially the Renaissance. All this provides a deep insight not only into the condition of woman and the origin of medicine, but also into the development of western society in general. Many beautiful pictures, taken from Medieval handbooks, works of great painters, etc., make the book even more enjoyable.
A further author who may be profitably mentioned, clearly supporting Erika Maderna's views, is Ludovico Ariosto. While, as to the equivalence: Circe = Medea = witch = (always wicked) woman, see Torquato Tasso, Jerusalem Delivered, IV: 23 and 86, though of course this is not the whole of Tasso's opinion on women! For a more positive evaluation, including a reference to the art of cosmetics (very often linked to ancient medicine and alchemy), see Jerusalem Delivered, VI: 67 and 76. And in XIX: 114 the word "medica," she-doctor, will occur twice.
According to John Milton, Paradise Lost VIII: 44-47, Eve herself was the first priestess of Nature, or wicca:
Rose, and went forth among her fruits and flow'rs,
To visit how they prospered, bud and bloom,
Her nursery; they at her coming sprung,
And touched by her fair tendance gladlier grew.
Erika Maderna, Medichesse. La vocazione femminile alla cura, Sansepolcro (Italy): Aboca, 2012, pages 140