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On the left So, What's New in the Past in blue lettering above The Multiple Meanings of Medical History in the bottom in red lettering. A montage of six images. The far left is a man is being beaten with a stick by another man; a third man stands to the left holding a watch, timing the beating. Next is a oman, half-length, left pose, full face; holding Cushman's Menthol Inhaler. Next a group of four physicians sit in consultation, two with walking sticks to their noses, while the patient looks on from his bed. Next a black and white half length, full face, seated at desk covered with books and papers, hand to chin of William Osler. Next a black and white photograph of Dr. Harvey Cushing dressed in medical scrubs and wearing gloves standing at the bedside of a young patient lying on their side with bandages on their head and covered with white sheets. Finally a head and shoulders photograph of Henry Sigrest in an advertisment for a talk.


The history of medicine tells different stories and different truths depending on the questions we ask and the concerns we raise. That's why there is always something new in the past.

This exhibition explores some of the multiple meanings people have found in the history of medicine within the United States. We see how, during the last two hundred years, the history of medicine has been created and used as weapon, as inspiration, as edifice, as politics, as profession, and as today's news. Physicians have used medical history to increase their understanding, to unify their profession, to develop a vision of the future of medicine, and to provide better medical care to their patients.

History is like a kaleidoscope. It provides different meanings and different content to different viewers as they adjust their focus to find answers to ever changing questions. People are thus continually creating and recreating history.