Up Close and Medical: Behind the Scenes at London’s Medical Museums – 3 Day Course – In-person

The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries

6th July 2022 | 10:00AM

Up Close and Medical: Behind the Scenes at London’s Medical Museums – 3 Day Course

 Wednesday 6, Thursday 7 and Friday 8 July 2022

 The Faculty of the History and Philosophy of Medicine and Pharmacy and the London Museums of Health and Medicine are running a new three-day course this summer which will give participants a unique insight into London’s medical history. From the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret (the oldest surviving surgical theatre in Europe) to the recently opened Medicine Galleries at the Science Museum attendees will hear specialist talks from curators and historians on locations and objects which shaped the development of medical practice. Other sites visited include the Royal College of Physicians Garden of Medicinal Plants, Apothecaries’ Hall,  the British Dental Association, the Royal College of Nursing and the British Cardiovascular Society.

 Course outline

Exploring both the places and people that have put London at the centre of medicine, this course will take you behind the scenes of London’s finest medical museums to discover extraordinary stories and objects that have shaped how medicine is practised and experienced from the past until today.

From herbs to heart surgery, pharmacies to paramedics, false teeth to forensic pathology, exploring London’s museums provides remarkable insights into humanity’s age-long campaign for good health.

Attending this course you will:

  • Gain a better sense of history of medicine with a focus on the health challenges faced by Londoners past and present
  • Get behind the scenes access to incredible places of medical history
  • Get hands on with extraordinary objects

Course information

Participants can sign up for the whole course or specific days (the number of places on each day varies due to venue capacity). A discounted rate will be available for students. Full programme details will be available shortly.

Programme and application form – click here
Book your place – click here

A History of Learning Disability and Human Rights

Royal College of Nursing Library & Heritage Centre

6th July 2022 | 5:30PM

Find out why we need to understand the history of learning disability to ensure better support for people with learning disabilities today.

In many ways the past few decades have been a revolutionary period for people with learning disabilities across the world, culminating in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). However, successful implementation of the CRPD has been a complex business for people with learning disabilities, constrained by the legacy of historic legislation, structures, systems and attitudes.

In this talk, we take the long view on the question of rights for people with learning disabilities, tracing back to the UK’s Mental Deficiency Act of 1913 and the emergence of eugenics, which marked the beginning of the incarceration of people with learning disabilities on a widespread scale. Despite some progress over time, we ask why upholding the rights of people with learning disabilities continues to be so difficult to achieve.

This event is open to all. Please book a ticket to attend and the Zoom link will be emailed to you in advance of the event.

Image: Fiona Yaron-Field

Museum Late July- SELFLESS

Royal College of Physicians Museum

7th July 2022 | 5:30PM

Join us after hours from 5.30pm on Thursday 7 July to discover our fascinating museum and two exhibitions; ‘A taste of one’s own medicine’ plus SELFLESS by Jessica van der Weert. 

Explore the exhibitions 

A taste of one’s own medicine 

Our temporary exhibition explores the ridiculed and reviled in the RCP satirical prints collection. 

Graphic satire has been popular for centuries. 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. 

From stereotypes of doctors to caricatures of individuals, satirical depictions of treatments to scathing attacks on the RCP, we explore the complex and intriguing meanings behind the satirical prints in the RCP’s collection. 



A new photographic exhibition documenting the lives of healthcare staff at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic will be on display from 1 July to 29 July at RCP in London. 

Photographer Jessica van der Weert spent days with healthcare workers in Northumbria and Brent creating a stark and compelling photographic landscape of the UK during the most terrifying health crisis of our time. 

The exhibition was curated with financial support from the Jerwood Foundation and working in partnership with the RCP, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and ATMedics (Brent). 

Join a special introduction 

At 6pm join photographer Jessica van der Weert for a short introduction to her fascinating exhibition and at 7pm enjoy a curator’s introduction to ‘A taste of one’s own medicine’. 

Book now with Art Tickets


A theatre of doctors: an evening of medical history and drama

Royal College of Physicians Museum

20th July 2022 | 6:00PM

Join us on Wednesday 20 July, 6-9 pm in person or online, for a summer evening of medical history, satire and drama inspired by the current Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP) exhibition ‘A taste of one’s own medicine’. 


Throughout the evening, theatre group Rupture in Rapture Theatre will bring to life satirical prints from the exhibition ‘A taste of one’s own medicine; medical satire at the RCP’ with engaging live performances. Plus a range of interactive activities and a chance to explore the exhibition. 


In-person visitors will enjoy drama, drinks and nibbles in the beautiful setting of the RCP’s medicinal garden next to Regent’s Park. In between three live performances you will be invited to attend a guided tour of the exhibition, have the chance to interact with the performers and explore our museum and garden. Guests will receive a free drink on arrival followed by nibbles during the evening. 


Online visitors will be able to enjoy the three drama performances live-streamed, will join a virtual tour of the exhibition, and will be able to take part in interactive online games provided by Live’n Historyand Q&As with the performers. 


Book now with Art Tickets  

The Metamorphosis of Autism: A History of Neurodiversity

Royal College of Nursing Library & Heritage Centre

21st July 2022 | 5:00PM

Join us in person or online for talks exploring the history and personal experiences of autism and neurodiversity.

In person only from 5 – 5.30pm at the Royal College of Nursing for refreshments and a chance to look round our exhibition on the history of learning disability nursing.

Talks from 5.30pm (in person and online): What is neurodiversity and where has it come from? Increased diagnostic rates of autism, the rise of the neurodiversity movement, and growing journalism have recently fuelled autism’s fame and controversy. Historian Bonnie Evans explores the metamorphosis of autism, explaining our current understanding of autism by linking it to a longer history of child development. Dean Beadle discusses his own path to understanding and celebrating his neurodivergence. He also challenges some of the myths and negative attitudes that autistic people still have to face in society.