Adler Museum of Medicine, Johannesburg
Over 40 000 objects that illustrate the history of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy through the ages today make up the collection housed in the Adler Museum of medicine, funded by the Faculty of Health Sciences at Wits University in Johannesburg, where it sits on campus as part of the medical school in Parktown.
The Adler Museum is a veritable font of knowledge, as far as modern medicine is concerned. Over and above the extensive collection outlined above, there are also documents, pictures, videos, sculptures, philatelic and medallion collections, and a library of rare books - all relating to medical history. If you’re really into your medicine, or just to understand how far along the road we have come, there are reconstructions of an early Johannesburg pharmacy, dental surgery, doctor’s consulting room and optometry display. And in case you thought this was a rather one-sided representation of holistic treatment, there are also displays of a few alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, Chinese medicine (which, let’s face it, has been around a lot longer than modern western medicine), Tibb and Ayurveda.
The Adler Museum doesn’t disregard its heritage either. Traditional healing in South Africa is also showcased with displays of an African herb shop and a sangoma treating a patient. Added reasons to visit the museum include being able to view a specially commissioned handwritten Hippocratic Oath, and the original coat of arms of the South African Society of Psychiatrists. Over and above this, the museum arranges public lectures, special tours for schools, film shows and temporary exhibitions on numerous subjects.
Visiting hours: Monday to Friday, 09h30 to 16h00
Telephone: +27 (0)11 717-2081
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