Virtual guided taster tour of the RCP

Royal College of Physicians Museum

3rd August 2022 | 1:30PM

Get a taste of the Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP) fascinating 500-year history and award-winning architecture in a live virtual guided tour on 3 August at 1.30pm. 

Your 30-minute taster tour will be guided by an expert from the RCP Archive, Heritage Library and Museum team who will lead you virtually through the RCP’s Grade I listed Regent’s Park home, sharing their knowledge and answering your questions. Experience the RCP’s historic building from the comfort of your own home as your personal guide uses a virtual walk-through plus beautiful images and videos from our collections to provide a unique tour experience. 

Book now with Art Tickets 

Please note this is online only. 

SOPHIE: The Play

Royal College of Nursing Library & Heritage Centre

4th August 2022 | 6:00PM

Sophie is an autobiographical story written by sisters Emily and Sophie. The play lays bare the true hardship faced by a family living in Hull – a place where Down syndrome was stigmatised, side-lined, and treated as an illness. The narrative is raw and exposing, yet it is held together by moments of gentleness and childlike innocence. The story is ultimately a celebration, shedding light on how fulfilling life can be with someone like Sophie in it. The play will be performed in person and streamed online (from 6.30pm) and followed by a Q&A with Emily and Sophie.

In Conversation with Nursing Pioneers: Mental Health (online)

Royal College of Nursing Library & Heritage Centre

10th August 2022 | 5:30PM

Ever since Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole, nurses have blazed a trail in healthcare. They have pioneered improvements in practice, carried out cutting-edge research and advanced education: all with the aim of developing patient care. This event focuses on nursing contributions to mental health care. From the work of refugee nurse Annie Altschul – the first professor of mental health nursing and a “wounded healer” herself – to the creative and clinical contributions of modern nurses, we explore how and why nursing is central to patient care in mental health. (5.30-7pm)

A taste of one’s own medicine exhibition tour

Royal College of Physicians Museum

17th August 2022 | 1:00PM

Virtually explore the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) Museum exhibition, ‘A taste of one’s own medicine: medical satire at the RCP’, with an expert guide on Wednesday 17 August at 1pm. Discover the enduring appeal of satirical images, and how doctors have been ridiculed, reprimanded and maligned for centuries. 

While our museum building is closed throughout August for maintenance and conservation work, we are delighted to offer this chance to virtually explore our exhibition. Graphic satire has been popular for hundreds of years. The RCP cares for a unique collection of medical satire prints from the mid-18th century to the 1980s, donated to us by doctors and members over our 500-year history. 

In the past, as today, satirical images were closely tied to a particular time and place. They responded to contemporary events and were viewed by audiences who understood the circumstances of their creation, meaning they can now be difficult to understand. 

From stereotypes of doctors to caricatures of individuals, satirical depictions of treatments to scathing attacks on the RCP, join an expert guide for a tour of ‘A taste of one’s own medicine’ to explore the complex and intriguing meanings behind the satirical prints in the RCP’s collection. 

Book now with Art Tickets 

This event is online only. 

We would welcome a £5 donation from attendees to support the RCP Museum. Optional donations can be made as part of the ticket process. 

You can visit the exhibition in person until 2 Dec 2022 as part of a free visit. 


Vagina Obscura: How Medicine “Discovered” the Clitoris

Old Operating Theatre & Herb Garret

17th August 2022 | 7:00PM


Female anatomy hasn’t changed much in the past two millennia—but our understanding of it certainly has. Join award-winning science journalist and author Rachel E. Gross on a journey into the past, present, and future of perhaps the most-misunderstood organ in the human body: the clitoris.

An iceberg organ with 90 percent of its bulk beneath the surface and a shape unlike anything you’ve ever seen, the clitoris is teeming with biological secrets waiting to be unlocked. Join us as we explore what scientists are finally learning about it, as well as how new insights about female genitals are helping medicine to better study and treat all bodies. Along the way, we’ll take a wild ride through space, time, and erectile tissue to see how, from Hippocrates to Freud, this unique structure has served as a window into society’s anxieties and attitudes around women. From medical pariah to feminist icon, the clitoris has come a long way—but there’s still so much to learn, thanks to an enduring veil of shame and taboo around female sexuality and pleasure.

Rachel E. Gross is a science and health reporter who writes for The New York Times, Scientific American, and the BBC. She is the author of the 2022 book Vagina Obscura: An Anatomical Voyage, a New York Times’ editors choice that Kirkus Reviews called “an eye-opening biological journey.” Before that, she was a 2018-19 Knight Science Journalism fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the digital science editor of Smithsonian Magazine, where she launched a column about unsung women in the history of science. When not expounding on the mindblowing science of vaginas and vulvas, you can find her vegan baking, roller skating, or punning onstage. Follow her at @rachelegross.

Doors will open at 18:15 so ticket-holders have time to visit the museum before the start of the event at 19:00.

**Access is through a 52-step spiral staircase. For more information go to Access.

***All income from ticket sales go to support the upkeep of the museum, a registered charity, and the collection

Surgery & the Victorian Operating Theatre Live Event (Aug 2022)

Old Operating Theatre & Herb Garret

27th August 2022 | 10:00AM


Join us at the Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret while our team takes you to the Victorian era and goes over the surgical procedures that were done in our space. To understand the dramatic location of our operating theatre in the attic of a church, they will first explore the origins and history of Old St Thomas’ Hospital and a quick overview of the medical profession. They will then describe the most common surgical procedures that would have taken place in this original space nearly 200 years ago. Listen as the team delve into the horrors of surgery before the arrival of anaesthesia and antiseptics that helped pave the way to our modern medical procedures.

Shown live from the oldest surviving surgical theatre in Europe, you will see the original space located in the attic of an 18th century church, where up to 150 medical students would have once gathered and learnt their trade.

Saturday 27th August 2022. Doors will open at 09:45 for a 10:00 am start.

 **Access is through a 52-step spiral staircase. For more information go to Access.

***All income from ticket sales goes to support the upkeep of the museum, a registered charity, and the collection.