Local Doctor Honors Medicine's Past In New Museum | KCUR

Local Doctor Honors Medicine's Past In New Museum

Feb 3, 2013

Medicine is changing pretty fast these days, with new procedures, treatments and drugs coming out all the time. But one area doctor has been out on a mission to pay homage to medicine’s past: the mistakes, breakthroughs and lessons that might be taken for granted today. Dr. Bruce Hodges started out collecting medical relics from around the region as a kind of hobby, but it has grown way beyond the confines of his house.

Audio Pending...

Dr. Hodges' "Medicine's Hall of Fame and Museum" opens Tuesday, February 19, in Shawnee, Kansas.

In the meantime, test how well your own medical-trivia knowledge matches that of Dr. Hodges in this museum-inspired quiz:

1. What disease was completely eradicated by 1979?

  1. Smallpox
  2. Polio
  3. Measles
  4. Yellow Fever

2. What was first U.S. President George Washington’s real cause of death?

  1. Horse accident
  2. Bleeding
  3. Old age
  4. Pneumonia

3. What practice greatly reduced deaths on the maternity wards in the mid-19th-century?

  1. Administering aspirin
  2. Praying
  3. C-Sections
  4. Hand washing

Answers: 1. (1) The World Health Organization declared small pox to be eradicated at that time. 2. (2) George Washington's official cause of death was pneumonia, but bloodletting was what actually killed him (the practice at the time was thought to help cure or prevent illnesses). 3. (4) Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian physician, observed that doctors' wards had three times the mortality of midwives' wards in Vienna. He then instituted hand-washing policies among doctors, and the mortality rates declined.


Interested in medical history?

Click here for information about medical museums located throughout the country.

Other Kansas City area museums include the Glore Psychiatric Museum in St. Joseph, Mo. and the Clendening History of Medicine Museum at KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan.


*AUDIO EXTRA*: Below, Dr. Hodges describes his pharmacy collection.

Click above to hear Dr. Hodges describe his pharmacy section.
Credit Elana Gordon / KCUR


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