The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) is planning to set up a museum for anatomy. Doctors said the proposed start-of-the-art museum would act as a teaching aid for medical students as well as serve as an attraction for visitors.
At present, PGI has an anatomy museum on the campus, but the new plan is for a manifold expansion. The proposal that has now been prepared would require an outlay of approximately Rs 2 crore. “Our existing collection runs into
thousands of organ specimens from the human body. It is probably the largest collection in India. These could be an excellent source of medical education for resident doctors and faculty of the institute and even other institutes of the country. With improved display and modernisation [in the new plan], it could be one of the best museums of Asia,” PGI spokeswoman Manju Wadwalkar told the Chandigarh Newsline on Wednesday.
The museum, as it exists now, is located in a hall in the research block of PGI. Not all specimens in the collection are on display due to the shortage of space. The main visitors are PGI’s medical students. The organ collection includes both healthy and diseased specimens, harvested from cadavers.
PGI doctors maintained that the institute’s collection of human organs dates back to the 1970s. Of the total preserved organs, the majority are of the human brain, numbering around 2,500. The world over, teaching hospitals have museums that are as well known as the institute itself. The Gordon Museum of Anatomy at Guy’s Hospital in London is one such.
The Mutter Museum in Philadelphia at the non-teaching College of Physicians is famous for its exhibit of a piece of Albert Einstein’s brain. According to the new proposal, PGI officials said the museum would be divided into zones spread over different floors.
“The collection will be curated in the new museum in a manner so that the visitor can have a seamless learning experience of visiting the museum,” said an official. “There will be different zones, including one for histology (study of microscopic tissues), self-study area, conference space, children’s section and also a tunnel of reflection,” he stated.
“An additional mezzanine floor has been designed in the new plan to further connect via aerial bridge with the existing mezzanine,” informed the official, adding that the new museum would remain open for the general public as well. A senior PGI official said: “Huge money is involved and the proposal is under active consideration. Also, deliberations on the financial part of the project have begun.”