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Siriraj Medical Museum

Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital

 

The museum inside Siriraj Hospital began with collecting and exhibiting stuff of each faculty. In 1982, there were 13 museums, but later, there are only 6 left that can be open for public: Ellis Pathological Museum, Songkran Niyomsane Forensic Medical Museum, Ouay Ketusingh Museum of History of Thai Medicine, Parasitology Museum, Congdon Anatomical Museum, and Sood Sangvichien Prehistoric Museum and Laboratory.


Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital received a 33-Rai land of Thonburi Railway Station from State Railway of Thailand as cabinet resolution on May 26, 1903. Since the cabinet wanted to improve medical profession and public health, especially on excellent research, study, and service, they presented a project for transforming Siriraj Hospital to be an excellent medical institute of Southeast Asia, to the government. The project for an excellent medical institute composed of 7 sub-projects. One of those sub-projects is building museums.

The cabinet appointed a subcommittee for transforming Siriraj Hospital to be an excellent medical institute of Southeast Asia, which had responsibility to take care of museums in Siriraj Hospital. The subcommittee found a committee to collect information for museums, departments, and offices inside Siriraj Hospital. Today, all of the museums are called under one name – Siriraj Medical Museum.


Siriraj Medical Museum has 6 small museums which are divided into 2 buildings. On the 2nd floor of Adulyadejvikrom Building, there are 4 museums: 1) Ellis Pathological Museum, 2) Forensic Medical Museum (Songkran Niyomsane), 3) Museum of History of Thai Medicine (Ouay Ketusingh), and 4) Parasitology Museum. And on Anatomy Building, there are 2 more museums: 5) Congdon Anatomical Museum, and 6) Prehistoric Museum and Laboratory (Sood Sangvichien). There are 300 visitors each day. The first museum is Ellis Pathological Museum. Inside the museum, there are divided into 4 zones. The first zone is history of modern medicine and pathology. It displays biography of Professor A.G. Ellis, the first pathologist in Thailand. He was an American pathologist who found pathological framework, Doctor of Medicine curriculum, and a pathological museum. The second zone is about cancer. The museum displays rare stuff, and useful information about types of cancer which are often found in Thai people. Moreover, the atmosphere in the museum is fascinating, and you can search for knowledge by yourself. In the third zone, it displays congenital anomalies which are often and hardly found. The exhibition displays how congenital anomalies in human begin since it is a fetus. In this zone, visitors would get a real experience of congenital anomalies, and learn steps of fertilization and development of a fetus. The last zone is about heart and artery disease. Since heart disease and hypertension are leading cause of death among Thai people nowadays, it is a good chance for visitors to study and learn from real stuff and mediums inside the museum. What you should not miss is attending a lecture on angiostenosis by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Visitors would see a remarkable talent of drawing illustrations for the lecture. You will not be able to see this from anywhere else. In addition, there is a free blood pressure measurement in this zone.

 














Inside the museum, there are interesting digital displays, which is a new kind of exhibition. Thank to Siriraj Medical Museum team who organized and designed this museum perfectly. Furthermore, there are audio players with 2 portable languages, for visitors who would like to know the details of displays. The audio players are available with a rental fee of 100 baht for each.

The next room is Forensic Medical Museum (Songkran Niyomsane) which is a highlight spot of Siriraj Medical Museum.














What you should not miss is Zee Oui. It was a famous case of “the cannibal”. There are displays of bloody clothes and object evidence of the murder of a nurse named Nuanchawee. The exhibition also displays the autopsy instruments that were used in the case of His Majesty King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII). Furthermore, there is “Siriraj and Tsunami” Exhibition about the first earthquake occurred in Thailand on December 26, 2004. It is exhibited by modern mediums such as a model, a projection room, etc. Also, there is another museum hidden inside this room which is Museum of History of Thai Medicine (Ouay Ketusingh). Inside this museum, there are displays of history and evolution of Thai traditional medicine, equipments for making herbal medicine, samples of herbs, a collection of Thai medicine books, how to Yufai (how a mother lay by the fire after deliver a baby), how to deliver a baby in traditional style, a traditional Thai pharmacy, and rare stuff from the past.

The next room is Parasitology Museum. There are collection and exhibition about worms, life cycle of worms, and diseases caused by worms such as elephantiasis. There is a surprising display for visitors, which is a 35-kilogram testicle of a Thai man (caused by elephantiasis worms). In this Parasitology Museum, there are also worms named “Siriraj” and “the Blood Microscope”. Why is it called the Blood Microscope? If you want to know the answer, you have to find it at this Parasitology Museum. Next to the microscope, there are displays of house dust mites, which is the cause of allergy. There are also footnotes for each display. By the way, the museum has a plan for innovation in the next few months. So you should find a chance to visit here soon, before it is closed for innovation.

 

After you have seen all of the 4 museums in Adulyadejvikrom Building, we are going to walk to Anatomy Building which has two more interesting museums. The first one is Congdon Anatomical Museum which was found by Professor Edgar Davidson Congdon who had the most important part for anatomy teaching development. In this museum, there is a display that the world has only piece – the whole hand-dissected human nervous and cardiovascular system which is dissected by Doctor Patai Sirigaroon. There are also exhibitions of development of human embryo, and various types of twin babies. And the last museum is Prehistoric Museum and Laboratory (Sood Sangvichien). Professor Sood Sangvichien, the former Dean Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, is the founder of the museum. There are displays about evolution of human, prehistory of Thailand, a chart of primate evolution since 70 millions years ago until the present, rock tools from prehistoric age, ornaments and pottery of prehistoric human in Thailand, pictures, sculptures, and statues. After you have seen all of the 6 museums, you would realize that every piece of displays tell stories from the past until the present. How many youths have visited this museum? At least, if you visited this museum once, you would realize that this museum is a great place for learning of the next generation.

 

Finally, we would like to introduce a small pocket book named “Siriraj Oudkhongdee” (Siriraj Shows Its Good Stuff). The book is about good stuff inside Siriraj Hospital such as buildings, places, displays of medical equipments, etc. Contents of the book are presented by colored cartoons with knowledge and fun. You would learn that Sirirraj is not only a hospital, but also a tourist attraction. You can buy it at famous bookstores all over Thailand, or at Siriraj Medical Museum, so that you would read it and have fun while visiting the museum.

For Mahidol University personnel, if you bring your ID card with you, you can visit all of the 6 museums for free. The museum is open at 9.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, except public holidays. Admission fee is 20 baht for Thai citizen, 40 baht for foreigners, and free for children, students in uniform, anyone who has student ID card, and monks. For more information, please contact 02-419-6363 or http://www.si.mahidol.ac.th/museums/

 
 

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