Margaret Cleaves (1848–1917), M.D., physician, was a pioneer of electrotherapy and brachytherapy, instructor in Electro-Therapeutics New York Post-Graduate Medical School, President of the Women's Medical Society of New York, a Fellow of the American Electro-Therapeutic Association, a member of the Société Francaise d'Electrothérapie, a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, Editor of Asylum Notes: Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, 1891-2, a member of the Medical Society of the County of New York, a member of the American Medical Association, and a member of the New York Electrical Society.
The daughter of an Iowa doctor, Margaret Cleaves earned a degree in medicine from the Iowa State University Medical Department in 1873. She was licensed to practice medicine in Iowa (1873), Illinois (1876), Pennsylvania (1880) and New York (1890). Cleaves lectured and had clinical practice in London, Paris, Leipzig, Berlin and New York. From 1873-6, Cleaves worked as an assistant physician at the State Hospital for the Insane, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Cleaves was the first woman physician to regularly treat mental illness at that institution, she subsequently served as a member of the board of trustees. From 1880-3, Cleaves was physician-in-chief of the Women's Department, State Hospital for the Insane, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In 1885, Cleaves was appointed to the University of Iowa Medical Department's examining committee, "perhaps the first woman to serve in that capacity in the United States." In 1895, Cleaves founded the New York Electro-Therapeutic Clinic, Laboratory and Dispensary in New York City. Her work there included the treatment of a large number of cases of neurasthenia among both male and female patients. Cleaves was a prolific author on topics concerning the use of radiation and electricity to treat illnesses. Cleaves also invented a variety of instruments for such treatments.
- JAMA. 1898;XXX(21):1219-1226 and Woman's Who's Who of America, 1914-5 (New York).
- Classics in Brachytherapy, Margaret Cleaves Introduces Gynecologic Brachytherapy, by Jesse N. Aronowitz, Shoshana V. Aronowitz, Roger F. Robinson (No. 6 2007 p 293-297)
- Margaret A. Cleaves, "Franklinization as a Therapeutic Measure in Neurasthenia," Journal of the American Medical Association 27 (1896): 1049-052.