The Museum of Human Disease was really fun little excursion, it really was a very interesting and informative day. Everyone had a great time, as usual it was only a small group. But this made it more personal and relaxing.
After visiting this museum and chatting to the staff I might tie in more events along these lines. I'll certainly be visiting between classes when uni starts.
I should first say a thank you to the staff. They were excellent, everyone I have spoken with has been friendly and happy to answer any questions or to just chat. In all honesty the people here are great, very approachable. If anyone is interested in the educational side of medicine then this is the best place to start.
When we arrived at the museum they were already giving a little talk to a school group. It had only just started so we joined in, the talk was obviously more for children the way it explained how they would be seeing human organs and that this could be confronting. Not something undertakers or I would worry about.
|The entry to the museum is easy to miss, with no signs outside.|
After this was over we signed in at the reception desk, where one of the staff recognised me. She took us straight through to the lab at the back so we could meet the person in charge of maintaining the specimens and have a 'behind the scenes' style of talk. He was quite friendly, we talked for a good two hours about so many things, from the funeral industry to funny medical stories.
|Inside the lab.|
|Also inside the lab.|
It was also interesting how the details and records of a few specimens were lost or never taken. In the past things were a bit more 'relaxed' in a sense. Some specimens were just taken as they were cool, and no records were kept.
One good example was of a face in the lab (not accessible to the public), nobody knows who's face it is and it would be impossible to find out. All they know is that it was an off-cut from an anatomy dissection that someone decided to preserve.
|A big foam skeleton that went |
together like a jigsaw!
It really adds a personal touch to the displays, turning them from organs in jars into meaningful and individual things. Making it easier to understand them and relate to them in a way. the museum was also quite educational, it's not just organs in jars. There is information scattered about, from historic medical equipment to information about harmful things (like smoking and junk food).
Clearly the museum is geared more for high schoolers, but it's still great fun. I found it oddly amusing and enjoyable to think of answers to questions on displays. Questions like 'what is a cause of lung cancer', it reminded me of being back in school in a good way. That sense of nieve exploration and investigation.
A particularly fun section (at least for me) was the microscope room, there were several microscopes. Each microscope had a different slide, one with regular blood, one with a mosquito, a tapeworm head, and more. But my favourite was a tiny parasite, you could see the blood cells it had eaten inside (at least I think that's what it was, I am not a doctor by any measure). It was just so interesting to see the parasite and the cells inside it. Not an every day experience.
One of the museum staff suggested we might be able to get a private tour of the UNSW medical facility, including mortuary. And that they would be interested in some cross-promotion with funeral companies. So who knows what the future holds!
For now I am looking forward to the next event! Perhaps a walk around Waverley.