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Museum of Anatomy open house June 15

The Museum of Anatomy at the Queen’s School of Medicine will open its doors to the public for free tours during its annual open house on Saturday June 15.

Each year, hundreds of students from Queen’s and nearby high schools use the materials in the museum to learn about the structure of the human body. The open house will make this same educational experience available to anyone who is interested.

Visitors must register for tours ahead of time, as space is limited. The first tour begins at 9:20 am.

At the museum, visitors will be able to view the large collection of anatomical objects that Queen’s has collected over several decades. Organized by anatomical regions, the museum contains multiple samples of almost all parts of the human body.

Most of the objects are displayed in jars filled with a preservative fluid, but some have been plastinated. These items, including a number of hearts and bones, can sit out in the air and are able to be touched. By feeling the specimens and turning them over in their hands, students often notice details that are difficult to observe otherwise.

At past open houses, according to Dr. Leslie MacKenzie, Director of the Pattern II M.Sc. program in Anatomical Sciences, visitors have expressed their enthusiasm for the chance to have such an in-depth and detailed look at the human body. Some visitors have been so moved that they have gone on to volunteer for the Human Body Donor Program. All the anatomical specimens on display at the museum are collected from donors who chose to donate their remains to Queen’s. These donations are incredibly meaningful gifts to the school and help us fulfill our research and educational goals. To show respect for the people who have donated their bodies, Queen’s holds a burial service each spring at the Cataraqui Cemetery. The families of the donors are invited to attend.

Faculty members and graduate students from Queen’s will be in the museum on June 15 to introduce people to the space, guide them, and answer any questions they might have about the collection.