The article provides a gendered approach to patient-doctor relationship, by analysing the casebook of the learned physician Francesco Partini from Rovereto (1500–1569). It investigates women’s access to the doctor, their attitude towards him, their view of illness, and their capacity to negotiate cures. Knowledge of the menstrual cycle is also presented from the women’s perspective, and it is described not in light of medical books, but in the context of medical practice. Finally, by documenting the integration of menstruation in the aetiology of diseases, the article shows how profoundly gender shaped the understanding of the body not only in terms of anatomy, but also of disease causation.
keywords: prancesco partini; female patients; early modern medical practice; gendered-oriented medical encounter; patient-physician relationship; history of the body; menstrual cycle