Forceps, Stethoscopes, and Ivory Babies

What are some of the things I do on weekdays? Well, go to the Dittrick Medical History Center, of course. I’m gearing up for my next solo show, and although I know what I’m going to do as far as the medical history inspiration, one can never have done enough research. For the show my area of focus will be the 1400s to maybe the late 1600s, I find it all so fascinating, and it makes me feel better about the annoying scans and procedures I continue to go through at Cleveland Clinic.

I might have  missed her talk (which is available here) but I got a nice little private tour of the new exhibit having to do with birth from Dr. Brandy Schillace. Did you know that midwives will lose their license if they even touch a pair of forceps? Today? Because I sure didn’t.


Paper woman…


Ivory anatomy ladies and their tiny babies. Such beauties…




A week later I attended the opening of the mezzanine exhibit, the M. Donald Blaufox Hall of Diagnostic Instruments, which was donated by Dr. Blaufox after years of extensive collecting.  The opening was paired with a lecture by Joel D. Howell, M.D. which primarily focused on stethoscopes, and how one tool changed the practice of medicine.



(go to the actual exhibit if you can, I took these rather quickly)



You can listen the entire lecture recording here. It’s very interesting to hear from doctors, nurses, and med students about how talking to a patient has been trumped in many ways by just reading test results. As for the question of what things we are doing now that people in the future will look back on and say is silly? I think chemotherapy will be the top practice that future generations will go, “what there they thinking?! That’s terrible!”

By the way, go and visit the Dittrick Blog!

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