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Pathway travels: 5 museums for students interested in medicine

For current and future medical students, medical museums offer a wonderful opportunity to explore everything from how common procedures came into practice, to strange concepts that the public believed in the past.

Today, we’re looking at some of the most interesting medical museums in the world. These venues in the US and Europe explore where medicine has been and where it could be headed in the future. So if you have an interest in health or just wonder about where modern medicine found its roots, these are must-sees during your summer travels.

Florence Nightingale Museum – London, England

Possibly the world’s most famous nurse, Florence Nightingale was a key figure in establishing the world of modern nursing. The museum, located in London just off the river Thames, celebrates her life and extensive work as she pioneered new methods and concepts that have saved countless lives to date. If you’re interested in nursing and the medical field as a whole, it’s a great chance to learn more about her legacy and how it’s affected the way we practice medicine to this day.

Museum of Questionable Medical Devices – Saint Paul, Minnesota

With a very different tone to that of the other museums on this list, the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices in Minnesota is a must-see for anyone with an interest in the history of medical practice or just the unusual beliefs of the population at the time. Housed in the Science Museum of Minnesota, you’ll have a chance to discover some of the devices the public of the time believed would solve their medical woes but most of which ultimately proved dangerous and life-threatening.

Pauls Stradins History of Medicine Museum – Riga, Latvia

The museum gives you the chance to have a look at the development of medical practices that date back to ancient times. It’s named after Pauls Stradiņš, a doctor, surgeon, oncologist, and medical historian who may not be a household name worldwide, but did groundbreaking work in his home country. He helped establish important medical associations and received several decorations and honors before and during the Soviet era. His interest in history lead to a vast collection that made up the base of today’s museum. It’s now one of the largest medical history museums in the world and even has exhibits and artifacts of mythical medicine practices.

Wellcome Collection – London, England

The Wellcome Collection is unique for a number of reasons. Rather than merely informing or educating, its library and museum focus on the connection between medicine, life, and art. Based on the legacy of Henry Wellcome, a pharmacist who collected millions of medical objects during his lifetime, the venue’s goal is to make the familiar seem strange and invite visitors to challenge their own ideas about the way they feel about health.

Mütter Museum – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Possibly one of the most famous museums on this list, the Mütter Museum is a part of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. It houses a collection of more than 25,000 specimens collected by Dr. Thomas Dent Mütter, an American surgeon who innovated various medical breakthroughs including being the first surgeon to use ether anesthesia and creating an early version of today’s skin grafts for burn victims.



At EF Academy’s international boarding schools, we offer our students the guidance and direction they need to pursue their subjects of interest. Students with an interest in medicine have the opportunity to learn directly from doctors and surgeons, attend public lectures about valuable techniques and new innovations in the field, and gain educational experience that will prepare them for their further studies.

All before graduating high school.

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