Smallpox – A Short History of Vaccination (Part 2)

Janet Parker was the last person in the world to die from smallpox in 1978. She was working as a scientific photographer above one of the labs at Birmingham Medical School. The lab was working with smallpox and Parker contracted the disease on August 11th. She would die a month later.This event shook the world not only because the last smallpox case in the UK was 5 years prior, but because smallpox was on its way to being confined to the history books. … More Smallpox – A Short History of Vaccination (Part 2)

Creating an Outdoor Walking Tour

This summer, I had the opportunity to complete a thorough revamp of the Outdoor Tour program that the Museum has offered for many years. It was a long and tedious but ultimately rewarding process. With this in mind, I thought it might be helpful or interesting to others to explain how I went about the project to transform a few abstract ideas into a polished Museum product, ready for the public to enjoy for years to come. … More Creating an Outdoor Walking Tour

Maternal Mental Health Care

More so than practically any other healthcare subject, mental health topics have acquired a need in recent decades for routine updating and research to compensate for centuries of misinformation. The infiltration of the Maternal Mental Hygiene movement and Attachment Theory into the minds and maternity manuals of Canada can shed light onto the progression of the treatment of maternal mental health across the decades. … More Maternal Mental Health Care

A Trip Down Memory Lane

What is the purpose of a museum? To help people understand the past? To show items that most people would not see? To preserve and display articles from the past so that we can better understand our present? To give a fuller picture of how life used to be? A museum can be all these things, but a museum, especially one with a more modern focus, can be so much more. … More A Trip Down Memory Lane

Laudanum: Freedom from Pain for the Price of Addiction

On Canada Day, the Museum of Health Care unveiled a new exhibit entitled “A Stubborn Illness” about the health of Sir John A. Macdonald and his family. When I first toured the gallery I was struck by the intriguing medicine prescribed to Sir John A. Macdonald’s first wife, Isabella Clark. Visitors seemed to share my sentiment and several have inquired why laudanum is no longer a popular treatment. Further investigation of laudanum and Isabella’s relationship with it reveals that though the drug provided pain relief, its side effects and risks far outweighed its benefits. … More Laudanum: Freedom from Pain for the Price of Addiction