The History of Maryland Medicine/MedChi Museum

The MedChi medical museum, not formally named, held its soft opening in conjunction with the Annual Thomas E. Hunt, Jr., M.D. History of Maryland Medicine Lecture on September 20, 2022. The museum featured MedChi becoming a more diversified membership by changing its by-laws in 1885 and highlighting panels showing the diversity of our Presidents over the past few decades. This exhibit will also display other updates in the days ahead.

According to everyone who attended, it was a momentous success.

Another permanent exhibit is a display of sixty bookplates from a collection of more than two hundred.

After Sir William Osler’s death, MedChi commissioned a bookplate designed by the medical illustrator, Max Brödel. Physicians from across the world began requesting a copy. Marcia Noyes, our librarian, decided that we would send an Osler bookplate to anyone who sent us one of theirs, resulting in our collection.

Another item displayed was a ledger from Francis Brown Sappington, M.D., one of our 101 founders, MedChi acquired in 2020. The ledger covers the years 1797 to 1803. This includes excerpts of Dr. Sappington’s notes in establishing the Medical & Chirurgical Faculty. There are pages patient records arranged with the patients’ name at the top, the date, the malady and then the payment, which was in pounds, shillings, and pence, as was the currency at the time.

More exhibits, including medical books from the collections of Dr. John Archer, the first person to receive a medical diploma in the United States; Dr. Upton Scott, MedChi’s first president; and Sir William Osler, former MedChi president and founding physician at Johns Hopkins will be coming to the museum soon.

For now, the museum will be open by appointment only, and during events at MedChi. To request an appointment, please contact Meg Fairfax Fielding. Additionally, we are looking for donations to the museum, either monetary or in-kind. You may also contact Ms. Fielding if you would like to contribute to the museum.