A Spoonful of Sugar Makes The Medicine Go Down?

The new exhibition explores the evolution in the teaching of medicine

This blog post comes from Rowan Gard, MUSA’s new weekend Senior Visitor Services Facilitator. Rowan joined us from the Hearst Museum of Anthropology, at the University of California-Berkeley and has just begun her PhD here in St Andrews.

MUSA has a new exhibition! Doctors in the Making: Medicine at St. Andrews opened Friday 17th October and will run until 19th April 2015. It includes objects from the University’s Anatomy and Pathology Collections, as well as interactive activities and a short film highlighting the experiences of medical students currently at the University.

This display shows a range of botanical medicines
This display shows a range of botanical medicines

Doctors in the Making provides a unique perspective on the historical practice of medicine at the University, as well as the evolution of the discipline as a whole. Offering a view from within the medical profession, the exhibition creates a space in which to encounter the visual languages of illness, wellness, mortality, and human anatomy. This in turn, enables visitors to engage in a dialogue spanning over six hundred years, and gain a deeper understanding of past and present medical practices.

Preparing for this exhibition has been exciting and challenging for Museum Collections Unit staff, but an endeavour well worth undertaking. Claire Robinson, Collections Curator summarises the exhibition:

Do you have what it takes to be a doctor? Find out here!

“From the earliest days of the University until the present day, our new exhibition tells the story of how St Andrews’ students have learned to become doctors and examines how teaching methods, treatments and knowledge of the body have improved over the course of 600 years. It provides our visitors with the opportunity to explore rarely-seen items from the University’s Anatomy and Pathology Collections that are still actively used in the teaching of Medicine at St Andrews.”

These interactive displays have been specially designed to demonstrate how the human ear works

Beyond the exhibition itself, there are also a number of accompanying events which explore some of the fascinating themes in the display. One upcoming lecture focuses on medieval surgical practices. Led by Dr. Angela Montford and entitled A Blunt Saw and Gritted Teeth? Medieval Surgery Illustrated, the lecture is scheduled for Wednesday, 29th of October, from 5.30-6.15 PM.

We look forward to seeing you at MUSA, where the staff are always on hand with a metaphorical spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down!


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