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Cleveland Rocks!

Friday, October 27th, 2017

On October 13th and 14th I had the opportunity to attend the Symposium: Technology in Museums and Education at the The Dittrick Medical History Center which addressed the expanding role of technology in museums and education. The Symposium marked the official Grand Opening of the How Medicine Became Modern digital exhibition wall, a touch-screen interactive that previews the Dittrick’s collections through stories and images. The Symposium began on Wednesday with a thought-provoking lecture titled “Medical Museums and the Digital Turn” by Lisa O’Sullivan, PhD, who serves as Vice President and Director of the Library and Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health at the New York Academy of Medicine. Following the lecture, guests went upstairs to the Museum for a reception and the opportunity to experience first-hand the digital exhibition wall. The next day’s activities began with morning talks dedicated to the use of digitization and interactives at the Dittrick Museum, as well as a presentation of Case Western Reserve University’s HoloLens project and its impact on medical education. Participants had the opportunity to don a holographic augmented reality headset and interact with the projected image of the human body. I was able to peer into the chest and see the beating heart and blood vessels in action! The Cleveland Clinic/Case Western Reserve University Health Education Campus is scheduled for completion in 2019 and will include the CWRU schools of medicine, dental medicine and nursing, and the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. There will no gross anatomy lab in the complex!

Following lunch the afternoon was spent at the amazing Cleveland Museum of Natural History where participants toured the new Human Health Galleries and the Hamann-Todd Osteological Collection with more than 3,000 cadaver-derived human skeletons (I actually got to hold a human leg bone in my hand!) and learned about the Centennial Campaign to transform CMNH galleries. In the evening guests enjoyed a fabulous meal at a restaurant in Cleveland’s Little Italy. Kudos to James Edmonson, Brandy Schillace, and all the folks involved in making this a truly memorable and educational event!