Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nov 10: Cancer Education Film at the National Academy of Sciences

This is presented by friends of mine who really know their stuff and should be excellent. I'm planning on seeing it.

The Reward of Courage
Thursday, Nov. 10, 6 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
Keck Center, 500 Fifth St., N.W., Room 100

Join us for a screening of The Reward of Courage , the first public education film about cancer. Released 90 years ago this fall, the film introduced many ideas about cancer that are familiar today. A copy of this hitherto lost silent film was recently discovered, and in excellent
condition. A specially commissioned musical score, performed live by the
Snark Ensemble, will accompany the film.

More Information & RSVP


David Cantor PhD
Deputy Director
Office of History
National Institutes of Health
Bldg 45, Room 3AN38, MSC 6330
Bethesda, MD 20892-6330
Phone: 301-402-8915 (Direct)
301-496-6610 (Office)
Fax: 301-402-1434

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dr. William Gardner's death notice

Today's Post ran a death notice for Dr. William Gardner, the head of the American Registry of Pathology which supported the AFIP's missions and thus the Museum as well.

Dr. Gardener was the ultimate supervisor of over 200 people, and a busy man. I personally got along well with him, and enjoyed it when we talked history together. My condolences to his family.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Navy history of medicine blog sneak peak

It's not quite ready for prime time (as they used to say), but stop by and check out it -

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Museum reopens to public

since nobody who still works there posted this...


Exhibits will focus on human anatomy/pathology, Civil War medicine

September 15, 2011, Silver Spring, Md.: After more than 30 years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the District of Columbia, the National Museum of Health and Medicine has completed its relocation to its new home at the Fort Detrick -- Forest Glen Annex in Silver Spring, Md. The Museum will open its initial temporary exhibitions to the public on September 15, 2011.

Initial exhibits available to the public at the Museum's new location will feature artifacts and specimens related to Civil War medicine and human anatomy/pathology. "To Bind Up the Nation's Wounds" offers an in-depth view of military medicine at the time of the Civil War, and features the amputated leg of Union Maj. General Daniel E. Sickles. "Visibly Human: Health and Disease in the Human Body" features natural human specimens as well as plastinated artifacts, displaying normal and abnormal body functions. "Visibly Human" includes specimens such as a leg affected by a parasitic infection known as elephantiasis, a human trichobezoar, and more—including some of the "most requested" items from the collections.

The new building, located at 2500 Linden Lane in the Forest Glen section of Silver Spring, features a state-of-the-art collections management facility to house NMHM's 25-million-object National Historic Landmark collection.

The Forest Glen Annex is overseen by Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md. The new Museum was built under a design-build contract awarded to Costello Construction of Columbia, Md. and managed by the Baltimore District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The new NMHM offers a designated visitor parking lot and visitors will need to present photo identification upon entry to the Museum.

Exhibits available this fall are the first step in an ongoing exhibition development program that will culminate on May 21, 2012, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Army Medical Museum (today's NMHM). Stay tuned in coming months for a more revealing look at what is yet to come.

Visit the Museum's website,, and Facebook page, for details.

About the National Museum of Health and Medicine

The National Museum of Health and Medicine, established in 1862, inspires interest in and promotes the understanding of medicine -- past, present, and future -- with a special emphasis on tri-service American military medicine. As a National Historic Landmark recognized for its ongoing value to the health of the military and to the nation, the Museum identifies, collects, and preserves important and unique resources to support a broad agenda of innovative exhibits, educational programs, and scientific, historical, and medical research. The Museum has relocated to 2500 Linden Lane, Silver Spring, Md., 20910. Visit the Museum website at or call (301) 319-3300.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I'm done folks

After 22 and 1/2 years of being in charge of the Archives and working at the Museum, today was my last day. I wish the best to my former colleagues and the Museum. I'll probably post my new contact information here when I have it, but the work of this blog should fall to other hands now.

Mike Rhode

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Well, sadly the Museum outlasted the AFIP

September sees the end of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. It grew out of the Museum during World War II, and took the Museum over after the War, but due to BRAC it's been closed and some of its functions divided. Bits of the AFIP's tenure remain of course - lots of AFIP numbered specimens are in the Museum, and lots of former Museum specimens will be in the Joint Pathology Center. The numbering systems remain intertwined. And of course this blog is named for a remark by an AFIP head.

I found it in a quote from one of the former curators. World War II confirmed the Army Medical Museum's primary role in pathology consultation. James Ash, the curator during the war and a pathologist, noted, "Shortly after the last war, more concerted efforts were instituted to concentrate in the Army Medical Museum the significant pathologic material occurring in Army installations." He closed with the complaint, "We still suffer under the connotation museum, an institution still thought of by many as a repository for bottled monsters and medical curiosities. To be sure, we have such specimens. As is required by law, we maintain an exhibit open to the public, but in war time, at least, the museum per se is the least of our functions, and we like to be thought of as the Army Institute of Pathology, a designation recently authorized by the Surgeon General."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

National Public Radio's Walter Reed series

NPR writes in, "Thanks again for all of your help with this  As the different stories of the six-part series air this week, they will be added to this page:"

Topics on the Pathology of Protozoan and Invasive Arthropod Diseases - last AFIP publication

Topics on the Pathology of Protozoan and Invasive Arthropod Diseases - the last AFIP publication - is available on the web for downloading for free.
Here's the description:

This e-book, Topics on the Pathology of Protozoan and Invasive Arthropod Diseases, was originally conceived as a companion volume of our earlier book, Pathology of Infectious Diseases, Helminthiases, published in the year 2000. During the production of the current volume, however, administrative circumstances were not conducive to its publication as a hardcover book. We are pleased nevertheless to be able to present this treatise on protozoan and invasive arthropod related diseases electronically. As such, a great advantage is that it will be available freely to a wider audience; not just to the so-called developed world, but to less affluent and more remote areas-- in fact to anyone with access to the internet worldwide. This publication comes at an appropriate time when there is ever increasing attention being given to the neglected tropical diseases of this world, and as world travel is increasing. Pathologists highly experienced in many of the diseases discussed here are often not locally available, increasing the likelihood that accurate diagnoses will be unduly delayed.

Direct download link

Thursday, August 25, 2011

THE GROG, Summer 2011-- A Journal of Navy Medical History and Culture

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that we present the Summer 2011 edition of THE GROG.  In this edition we examine the Navy Medical Department's role in the Coal Medical Survey of 1947 and how it came about. We follow this with a spirited assortment of original articles including Dr. James Alsop's look at Navy hospital care in 1812, Jan Herman's  account of working in documentary films, Leanne Gradijan's statistical report of physicians in the Civil War and much more.  As always we hope you enjoy your humble tour of Navy medicine's past.

THE GROG is accessible through the link below.  If you prefer a PDF version to be sent directly to your inbox please let us know.  For all those who have already requested to be put on the PDF mailing list a  low resolution version will be sent  to you shortly.

Link to THE GROG, Summer 2011

Very Respectfully,


André B. Sobocinski
Deputy Historian and Publications Mgr.
Office of Medical History (M00H)
Dr. Benjamin Rush Education and Conference Ctr.
Navy Medicine Institute for the Medical Humanities  (NMI)
Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED)
Tel: 202.762.3244
Fax: 202.762.3380

Got Grog?

Summer 2011

Spring 2011

Museum public program photos online


They've been going to the Museum's website at and are taken by new Museum photographer Matthew Breitbart.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rhode's new assignment details

I'll be at the Office of the Medical Historian which is described here, setting up their archives, describing records and making them more accessible to researchers including 12,000 BUMED images that were scanned by AFIP and the Museum, some of which can be seen on the Flickr page.

BUMED 09-8566-10

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

FW: Rhode leaving medical museum

Dear colleagues and friends,

It is with distinct melancholy that I will be resigning my post as chief archivist and leaving the National Museum of Health and Medicine on September 9, 2011 for a promotion as archivist in the US Navy Bureau of
Medicine's Office of Medical History (which is also in Washington, DC). It has been a pleasure and an honor to have built and led the Otis Historical Archives for the Museum and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology over the past twenty-two years. I trust I have lived up to museum curator George Otis' inspiring example.

Michael Rhode, Archivist
Otis Historical Archives
National Museum of Health and Medicine
Washington, DC 20306-6000

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Nature on 'Death of a pathology centre'

Death of a pathology centre: Shelved
It was the beginning of the Army Medical Museum ( see slideshow 'A diary of death & disease'). Hammond wanted to collect and catalogue the specimens that ...