Skip navigation to content

Current exhibition at MUSA

 Exhibition poster for Doctors in the Making

Doctors in the Making: Medicine at St Andrews

A new and exciting exhibition about the study of medicine at the University of St Andrews opens on October 17th at MUSA (Museum of the University of St Andrews). Rarely seen objects from the University’s medical collection will be on public display including anatomical specimens, notes and drawings, medical instruments and objects linked to medical pioneers at the University.

Image of Doctors bag

Medicine was first taught at the University 600 years ago and this exhibition seeks to explore how the teaching of medicine has changed over this period. From teaching charts to dissection, the way in which students learn about the human body is explored through a variety of objects, many of which are still actively used in teaching today.

Amongst the objects on display is a cast of the death mask of William Burke, one of the notorious Edinburgh grave robbers of the nineteenth century, who murdered victims in order to sell their bodies to Dr Robert Knox for dissection by medical students. This is displayed alongside wax models of the ear and heart, as well as plant specimens used to treat illnesses.

Case containing cast of the death mask of William Burke

The exhibition includes fun and interactive ways to find out more about what it is like to be a student of medicine. Visitors can try on a doctor’s gown, explore how and why our ears pop, discover how sound travels from the ear drum to the brain and find out why the University offered medical degrees without students having to set foot in St Andrews

The exhibition ‘Doctors in the Making: Medicine at St Andrews’ is free to visit and will be open from 17 October 2014 to 19 April 2015. A varied events programme accompanies the exhibition including talks on medieval surgery and the ethics of healthcare, hands-on investigation of how our digestive system works, the chance to be a doctor for a day and even the opportunity to analyse urine!

Exhibition opening times are Thursday to Sunday 12noon-4pm (November to March) and Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 12noon-4pm (April to October).