A Mere Appendix: Pioneering Surgery in Grand Valley Ontario

the following blog post was written by Museum of Health Care Curator Maxime Chouinard    The appendix represents quite a mystery. For many years it was believed to be a vestige of our distant ancestors; the trace of a cecum, a part of many animals large intestine.[1] This theory was put forward by Charles Darwin, … More A Mere Appendix: Pioneering Surgery in Grand Valley Ontario

Treatments for Menstrual Cramps throughout History

The following blog post was written by Shaelagh Cull, Summer 2015 Public Programs Assistant .   “My pen cannot express the anguish and pain suffered by some women…”:[1] For many women, each month until menopause will bring with it a new menstrual cycle. Anywhere between twenty to ninety percent of women will experience painful cramping, … More Treatments for Menstrual Cramps throughout History

Snakes, Mistakes, and Mythology! The Use of the Rod of Asclepius and the Caduceus in Modern Medicine

The following blog post was written by 2014 Collections Technician Katrin MacPhee* While handling an artifact from the Museum’s collection, a familiar sight piqued my curiosity. Stamped onto a pin awarded by the Canadian Medical Association was a snake coiled around a staff. I had seen the same symbol on the badges of emergency health … More Snakes, Mistakes, and Mythology! The Use of the Rod of Asclepius and the Caduceus in Modern Medicine

Mental Health: Tracing the History of Stigma

The following blog post was written by Abbey Cressman, Summer 2014 Public Programs Assistant   When researching ancient diseases, their symptoms, and treatments, I have often been struck by the correlation between the magnitude of lives lost and the health care standards of the time. I have read staggering statistics that throughout the nineteenth century, … More Mental Health: Tracing the History of Stigma

A Fighting Chance: Disease, Public Health, and the Military, Part 3

*the following blog post was written by 2013 Margaret Angus Research Fellow Robert Engen As we saw in the last blog post, from a medical point of view the two military campaigns to capture the Dutch island of Walcheren – the first in 1809, the second in 1944 – could not have been more different. … More A Fighting Chance: Disease, Public Health, and the Military, Part 3

A Fighting Chance: Disease, Public Health, and the Military, Part 2

*the following blog post was written by 2013 Margaret Angus Research Fellow Robert Engen     Two of the most remarkable stories in military medical history happened in the exact same place: Walcheren, a strip of land that sits like a cork in the mouth of the Scheldt River running through the Netherlands and Belgium. … More A Fighting Chance: Disease, Public Health, and the Military, Part 2

Statuette of Hua Tuo

‘It is a general truism of this world that anything long divided will surely unite, and anything long united will surely divide.”  – Luo Ghuanzhong, 1300s, CE ******************************************************************************************* The following blog was written by Curatorial Volunteer Mary Catherine Shea In 1846, New England dentist, William T.G. Morton, demonstrated to medical students that anaesthesia de-sensitized patients … More Statuette of Hua Tuo

Mysterious Mexican Disease May Rewrite History of Spanish Conquest

My absolute favourite thing about being a history student is having my previous assumptions about historical narratives dashed. During my first year at Queen’s I quickly learned that what was deemed “fact” in my earlier education is actually just one of many historical narratives to consider – history isn’t as cut-and-dried as I had thought. … More Mysterious Mexican Disease May Rewrite History of Spanish Conquest