The Royal College of Physicians

Address: St Andrews Place, Regent’s Park, London.

Opening hours: Are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Contact: Phone +44 20 3075 1649

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The field of medicine offers quite a bit of interesting items that could make up a museum that you would want to visit. It was a good thing that King Henry VIII believed the field was pretty important because he provided the royal charter that affirmed the Royal College of Physicians in London in 1518. This organisation is composed of doctors that practice general medicine or any of its subspecialties. The founding of the college made way for the medical museum of sorts.

The organisation also houses a museum and a library. The library itself comes with some rare medical books. Unfortunately, most of the books that were originally housed in the library were lost to the 1666’s Great Fire of London. The books do not only feature medical knowledge but also reflections of the way earlier fellows had acquired collections. Despite the fire, the rare book collection is still extensive. The collection comprises thousands of books, including about 130 books that had been published before 1502. The Dorchestor collection includes about 3,000 books. There are also more contemporary publications that relay histories of UK hospitals, the National Health Service and more. Other books discuss the physician’s role and the code of medical ethics.

The Museum itself comes with medical instruments, commemorative medals, portraits and anatomical tables. It is interesting to look at the instruments that have been used through the years. You will be familiarised with how the medical field has improved in terms of the equipment used. Note though that most of the instruments on display come from the 18th century to the 19th century. Still, it is good to know that the field of medicine has improved and continues to improve. It is also good to know that there are people who have chosen to document these changes. The museum also houses the portraits of the College’s Presidents and Fellows as well as other physicians who had become involved with the Royal College of Physicians.

A visit to the College’s library and museum is recommended to medical students, physicians and other people who are interested in the field of medicine. People who love rare items and books of all kinds will also revel in what the collections can offer.

The Royal College is part of the London Museums of Health & Medicine is it does offer historical displays, which is expected of museums, but also focuses on the subject of health and medicine. You can view the collections from Mondays to Fridays, 9 am to 5 pm, when they are made available to the general public.