Russell Museum at MGH

Russell Museum at MGH The Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation tells the rich story of Massachusetts General Hospital. Massachusetts General Hospital was established in 1811 to serve Boston's general public.
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At that time, the sickest and most vulnerable patients were cared for in almshouses, while the wealthy could afford private care at home. Creating a general hospital was an innovative idea. Since its inception more than 200 years ago, Mass General has remained at the forefront of medicine by fostering a culture of innovation. We continue to conduct groundbreaking research, educate health care professionals from around the world and, most importantly, improve the quality of clinical care provided to all members of our community. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation tells the rich story of Mass General through interactive media displays, artifacts and photographs. You can learn about the hospital's important contributions to the medical field and see how these discoveries and advancements have shaped the present – and how the hospital can continue to shape the future of medicine. The Russell Museum is dedicated to drawing connections between innovations spanning a period of more than 200 years – from the hospital’s charter in 1811 to present day. We encourage you to visit us for an experience that will inform, inspire and engage. Honoring Paul S. Russell, MD The museum is named in honor of Paul S. Russell, MD, a pioneer in the field of transplant surgery and chair of the Mass General History Committee. Dr. Russell was the chief of surgery from 1962 to 1968 and directed the Mass General Transplantation Unit from 1968 to 1990. In addition to founding the Boston Interhospital Organ Bank (now the New England Organ Bank), he has served as a professor at Harvard Medical School since 1962. "There is so much to tell and a great sweep of interest – not only on the clinical side, but also on the research and community side – specifically around how the hospital has continued its tradition of caring for its neighbors, which today can mean in our community or around the world," Dr. Russell said.

Temporarily closed

Next in your medical museum at home is ginger. While ginger products like tea, candies and ginger ale are a time-honored...
08/07/2020

Next in your medical museum at home is ginger. While ginger products like tea, candies and ginger ale are a time-honored home remedy for nausea, at times people need something stronger. In the 1950s, doctors in many parts of the world prescribed the drug thalidomide for nausea, especially for pregnant women. It was not prescribed in the United States because Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey at the FDA believed the evidence that it was safe was not conclusive. It would later become clear that while an important treatment for a couple of rare diseases, thalidomide is not safe for morning sickness, and can cause fatal or dramatically life-altering birth defects. On this day in 1962, Kelsey was awarded the U.S. President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service for her decision.

The West End Museum
08/05/2020

The West End Museum

Happy Humpday!
Did you know that the now famously known bicycle suffered from a lack of popularity in the first half of the 1900's?

A man by the name of Dr. Paul Dudley White, a cardiologist at MGH, prescribed a regiment of exercise to president Eisenhower after his heart attack in 1955, which became one of the reasons why the bicycle started to reclaim its fame in the 1960's and 70's.

The Paul Dudley White Bike path honors this cardiologist's contribution to the life and history of the bicycle. To learn more about this wonderful man and the evolution of the bicycle, visit us at the West End Museum!

Hours: Tuesday – Friday (12 pm- 5:00 pm)
Saturday (11:00 am – 4:00 pm)

FREE Admission!

#POTUS #MGH #Health #USA #presidents #Eisenhower #Ilikeike #Ike #WestendBoston #Bostonwestend #cyclinghistory #Pauldudleywhite #CyclingintheUSA #BostonHistory #HistoricBoston #Wednesdayvibes

Next in your medical museum at home, any memento of an ancestor. In 1825, physician and botanist Jacob Bigelow proposed ...
08/05/2020

Next in your medical museum at home, any memento of an ancestor. In 1825, physician and botanist Jacob Bigelow proposed that the practice of burying people in crypts under churches posed a sanitary problem, as well as created the threat of running out of space. This suggestion became the basis of the first garden cemetery in the United States, Mount Auburn Cemetery in Watertown, which opened in 1831. Bigelow himself, his more well-known son Henry Jacob Bigelow, and many other big names in Boston medical history are buried there. While still an active cemetery, it is also open to visitors. https://mountauburn.org

Next in your medical museum at home: a thermostat. Just as a thermostat determines when the air in your home has reached...
08/04/2020

Next in your medical museum at home: a thermostat. Just as a thermostat determines when the air in your home has reached a designated temperature and increases or decreases the heating or cooling as needed, medical researchers use thermal cyclers to raise and lower the temperature of tubes of DNA for PCR. Developed in 1984, polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, is a widely used method to quickly reproduce DNA samples, allowing researchers to take a small sample and create a larger sample to study in detail.

The museum was thrilled to be involved in placing this cool new piece of art in its temporary home: the display case in ...
08/03/2020

The museum was thrilled to be involved in placing this cool new piece of art in its temporary home: the display case in the hospital's main lobby. Should you happen to be there, take a look at the painting's edges--adorned with historical images of MGH nurses.

Today, we are excited to unveil "We Can Do It Together!", a painting by renowned artist Antonio Reonegro whose work is well known to fans of the Grateful Dead. This most recent piece is a tribute to Mass General staff who cared for patients during #COVID19. The Boston Globe shares more about the painting's background and story. https://fal.cn/39pmY

Next in your medical museum at home is an apron. Aprons were a part of standard nursing uniforms before scrubs became th...
08/01/2020

Next in your medical museum at home is an apron. Aprons were a part of standard nursing uniforms before scrubs became the norm about 50 years ago. An apron was also part of the path to nursing for Mary Eliza Mahoney, the first Black woman to be a licensed nurse in the US. After graduating from the Phillips School (just up Beacon Hill from MGH), she knew she wanted to be a nurse. She took non-nursing jobs at the New England Hospital for Women and Children, including working as a cook, until she was able to attend nursing school there, graduating in 1879.

Next in your medical museum at home is sodium citrate, a common food preservative and flavoring often found in cheeses, ...
07/30/2020

Next in your medical museum at home is sodium citrate, a common food preservative and flavoring often found in cheeses, drink mixes and sodas. During WWI, doctors began storing refrigerated donated blood for transfusions for a day or more, rather than transfusing directly from donor to patient. This was possible because of the discovery that sodium citrate can prevent the blood from clotting while it is stored. There is still no substitute for human blood and there’s currently a critical need for more donations; find out how to donate here. https://www.massgeneral.org/blood-donor

Next in your medical museum at home -- or right outside your home -- asphalt. In 1888, Mass General opened the Bradlee O...
07/25/2020

Next in your medical museum at home -- or right outside your home -- asphalt. In 1888, Mass General opened the Bradlee Operating Theater, the first aseptic operating room in the United States. Aseptic meant that it was designed to help hospital employees keep it sterile and free from anything that would transmit infection. Instead of the wooden structures of the Ether Dome, the hospital’s first operating room, the Bradlee had marble walls and asphalt floors.

Next in your medical museum at home: a light bulb. Incandescent light bulbs run electrical current through a thread of t...
07/23/2020

Next in your medical museum at home: a light bulb. Incandescent light bulbs run electrical current through a thread of the metal tungsten, and tungsten is also used to create a beam of electrons in a transmission electron microscope. Electron microscopes, which were developed in the 1930s, allowed scientists to see viruses for the first time. While many bacteria can be seen under a traditional optical microscope that uses visible light, viruses are too small to be seen this way. Electron microscopes are why we know what different viruses look like, including the pandemic coronavirus.

Next in your medical museum at home: a magnifying glass. While the use of curved lenses of glass to make objects appear ...
07/22/2020

Next in your medical museum at home: a magnifying glass. While the use of curved lenses of glass to make objects appear larger (magnifying glasses and eyeglasses) dates back to the 13th century, European scientists made a breakthrough in the 1620s by combining multiple magnifying glasses in a tube -- one as an eyepiece, and one focusing light near an object. These were the first compound microscopes, and they allowed scientists to study organisms too small to be seen by the naked eye.

Next in your medical history at home is a popsicle. If you’re of a certain generation, you and all your friends may have...
07/18/2020

Next in your medical history at home is a popsicle. If you’re of a certain generation, you and all your friends may have felt that getting to eat lots of popsicles after a tonsillectomy was a childhood rite of passage. Tonsillectomies have been practiced for thousands of years, with the earliest recorded procedures having taken place around 1,000 BCE in India. The tonsillectomy saw its peak in the mid-20th century in the United States and Europe, when it was the most common surgery on children, and is still one of the most common although it is less frequently recommended today.

Next in your medical museum at home is greeting cards. The first The General Store & Flower Shop opened in 1941 as a pro...
07/16/2020

Next in your medical museum at home is greeting cards. The first The General Store & Flower Shop opened in 1941 as a project of the Ladies’ Visiting Committee -- an auxiliary group that organizes its own volunteering and fundraising projects. The shop sold cards, magazines, chewing gum, and, initially, even cigarettes. Here’s a picture from 1943. Today, the hospital’s four gift shops are still run by the LVC and helps fund their grants to new programs in the hospital.

Next in your medical museum at home: salt. The earliest EKG (electrocardiogram) machines, developed in the 1910s, involv...
07/15/2020

Next in your medical museum at home: salt. The earliest EKG (electrocardiogram) machines, developed in the 1910s, involved the patient holding their hands and feet in saltwater baths that were used as electrodes, encouraging the flow of electricity. MGH cardiologist Paul Dudley White imported this technique from London.

Next in your medical museum at home: board games. Mass General employees will be familiar with the giant version of the ...
07/14/2020

Next in your medical museum at home: board games. Mass General employees will be familiar with the giant version of the board game Operation that, in usual times, was brought out for the summer picnic. The winning team is not always made of surgeons! However, some games provide dexterity skills training that is useful for surgeons. If you visited the museum in the past year, you may remember the skills trainer, in which you practice moving small objects using forceps while watching your actions on a video screen. Surgeons in training use this to practice skills related to laparoscopic surgery, in which they operate using very small incisions and a video camera to guide them.

Next in your medical museum at home: a yearbook. Medical and nursing school yearbooks can be a window into health care h...
07/11/2020

Next in your medical museum at home: a yearbook. Medical and nursing school yearbooks can be a window into health care history, but one of our favorite places people have signed their names is this wooden dog, called the East Medical Pup. In the early 20th century, medical residents were informally called “pups”. For decades, pups of the East Medical Service (a former ward at MGH) added their names to this dog, in a tradition started by Dr. Joseph Aub, who went on to be a leading endocrinologist.

Massachusetts General Hospital
07/10/2020
Massachusetts General Hospital

Massachusetts General Hospital

“This virus has reminded us of the power of general medicine as it has been practiced for centuries; we just need compassion, humanity and common sense,” says Vinayak Venkataraman, MD, Department of Medicine/Pediatrics resident. A recent virtual event, hosted by the Russell Museum at MGH and Suzanne Koven, MD, Mass General writer in residence, discussed resident reflections from the front lines during #COVID19. https://fal.cn/38Wmn

Next in your medical museum at home: rhubarb. It’s the time of year for rhubarb pies and crisps, but did you know that t...
07/09/2020

Next in your medical museum at home: rhubarb. It’s the time of year for rhubarb pies and crisps, but did you know that there’s some rhubarb in a beloved item in the museum’s collection? In the 19th century, both regular and alternative medicine included extracts from a number of plants and meats; some of them are known to be effective today, while others have been discredited by research. A medicine chest on display at the museum includes a glass bottle of powdered rhubarb.

Next in your medical museum at home: dentures. In 1849, a brutal murder took place at Harvard Medical School, which at t...
07/08/2020

Next in your medical museum at home: dentures. In 1849, a brutal murder took place at Harvard Medical School, which at the time was right next to the MGH campus. The story of the Parkman murder is full of drama, bad debts and a mystery solved by an observant janitor. It was also one of the first times that forensic evidence was admitted in an American court case: The victim’s dentist was able to identify the body based on the cast he had taken for his dentures.

Next in your medical museum at home is stairs. Starting in the 1920s, cardiologists used a standardized test to measure ...
07/07/2020

Next in your medical museum at home is stairs. Starting in the 1920s, cardiologists used a standardized test to measure how heart rate and blood pressure respond to exercise. The patient walked up and down two nine-inch steps for one and a half minutes -- a very simple but effective test. MGH cardiologists including Paul Dudley White had been working on similar stress tests at least since WWI and quickly adopted this test, called Master’s Two-Step Test after Dr. Arthur M. Master.

Next in your medical museum at home: a pen--the fanciest one you have. When telling its history, the Massachusetts Medic...
07/03/2020

Next in your medical museum at home: a pen--the fanciest one you have. When telling its history, the Massachusetts Medical Society is fond of noting that it was founded just weeks after the Battle of Yorktown was fought, in 1781. Its charter was signed by the leading officials of the Massachusetts government at the time: Samuel Adams and John Hancock. It is the oldest state medical association in the United States, and its co-founder was John Warren, brother to Dr. Joseph Warren and father to MGH’s co-founder John Collins Warren. The Massachusetts Medical Society publishes the New England Journal of Medicine.

Next in your medical museum at home: a blender. People who are sick or disabled who have difficulty getting enough nutri...
06/29/2020

Next in your medical museum at home: a blender. People who are sick or disabled who have difficulty getting enough nutrition by mouth have occasionally eaten through tubes since the 17th century, but the equipment and the science wasn’t advanced enough to be a reliable solution until the early 20th century. Until the 1950s, hospitals that had tube-feeding patients always prepared their food in the hospital’s kitchen, using a blending and straining process similar to making baby food. A mid-century trend toward making nutrition as scientific as possible sparked the development of prepared formulas for tube-feeding. Modern pre-made tube-feeding formulas are partly based on research done by NASA for “space diets.”

Next in your medical museum “at home” (but more likely in your yard): a thistle. Thistles are often considered the symbo...
06/26/2020

Next in your medical museum “at home” (but more likely in your yard): a thistle. Thistles are often considered the symbol of Scotland, and MGH’s cofounder John Collins Warren was educated there, at University of Edinburgh Medical School. He received his MD in 1801 and began assisting his father John Warren at Harvard Medical School (which the elder Warren had co-founded) the following year.

Missed last night's event about medical residents' writing during COVID-19? Watch here:http://healthcare.partners.org/st...
06/25/2020
MGH Russell Museum - Live Streaming

Missed last night's event about medical residents' writing during COVID-19? Watch here:
http://healthcare.partners.org/streaming/Live/MGH/Russell/2020.06.24_Russell_Event.html

©2020 Partners HealthCare. All rights reserved.Video streamed materials are protected under copyright laws of the US and other countries. They may not be reproduced in whole or part without the express written permission of the authors. Intellectual content is the property of Partners HealthCare.

Next in your medical museum at home: a football. Chet Pierce, an MGH and Harvard Medical School psychiatrist, had wide-r...
06/25/2020

Next in your medical museum at home: a football. Chet Pierce, an MGH and Harvard Medical School psychiatrist, had wide-ranging research interests and contributed significantly to sports psychiatry, and also served as a consultant for the Air Force, Arctic research and NASA because of his work on the psychiatry of stress under extreme circumstances. He conducted some of the pioneering research on the physical and psychological damage that accumulates for Blacks through living in a racist society. He’s also known for having been the first Black college football player to play against an all-white team south of the Mason-Dixon line, in 1947.

Next in your medical museum at home: magnets. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a method of taking images of the body ...
06/22/2020

Next in your medical museum at home: magnets. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a method of taking images of the body that doesn’t require X-rays or ionizing radiation. An MRI machine uses very strong magnets to briefly “tip” atoms, usually the hydrogen atoms in water and fat. The tipping creates a radio frequency signal that the machine reads to create a map of the tissues being scanned.

Next in your medical museum at home is starch, which is used in a number of types of microbiological growth medium: the ...
06/17/2020

Next in your medical museum at home is starch, which is used in a number of types of microbiological growth medium: the gel in a petri dish. Mueller-Hinton agar, often used in testing whether a type of bacteria is susceptible to a certain antibiotic, was invented by the biochemist John Howard Mueller and veterinarian Jane Hinton, whose father was Dr. William Augustus Hinton from yesterday’s post.

Next in your medical museum at home is cheese, beer, or drinking water. What they have in common is a chemical process c...
06/16/2020
Portrait of a Pioneer

Next in your medical museum at home is cheese, beer, or drinking water. What they have in common is a chemical process called “flocculation” in which loose particles form clumps and precipitate out of the solution. Dr. William Augustus Hinton, a serologist and bacteriologist, used flocculation in his breakthrough method of testing blood samples for syphilis, one of the most common infectious diseases of the early 20th century. For more on his impressive life and career, see https://hms.harvard.edu/news/portrait-pioneer

60 years after his death, groundbreaking bacteriologist Hinton honored at HMS

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Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, year-round. 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday, April-October. Our social media policy: http://www.massgeneral.org/notices/socialmediapolicy.aspx

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Comments

Ms Flaherty: the urge to write. Yes, I have been writing like mad into my notebook, I am 66 overcame cancer basically and home alone in my apartment in Seattle. Western Penna native and never married. Dennis Percherke
Is the museum open on saturdays in November?