Incorporating Museum Specimens Into the Educational Activities and Training of Environmental Health Students


Medical museums’ history and participation in educational activities date back to antiquity. Medical museums combine medical, artistic, ethical, social, and educational characteristics. For instance, pathological specimens from previous decades, which display diseases no longer present in developed countries but still present in the developing world, are related not only to scientific advances but also to socio-economic disparities. Environmental health postgraduate students at the School of Medicine of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens can find at the School’s Museum of Pathology a collection of specimens directly or indirectly related to environmental health, such as specimens displaying cases of emphysema, malignant melanomas, and adenocarcinomas. After the completion of their obligatory studies, a tour of the museum is being offered to them. Afterwards, a structured questionnaire is being used to assess specimens’ contribution to a) the improvement of students’ observational skills, b) the consolidation of the taught material, c) the acquisition of new knowledge, and d) the cultivation of empathy since many specimens are associated either with pain or with difficult psychological situations. Also, students are asked to assess this educational approach that brings environmental health practitioners of different undergraduate backgrounds into a museum of human remains, and to assess the necessity to preserve specimens’ metadata related to social and historical context. The preliminary results indicate that there is a perspective for a new, promising, and innovative intervention in the education and training of environmental health students.

Author Information
Sotirios Maipas, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Anastasia Konstantinidou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Andreas Lazaris, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Marlen Mouliou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Effie Papageorgiou, University of West Attica, Greece
Nikolaos Kavantzas, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Paper Information
Conference: ECAH2022
Stream: Science

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon