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  • Jun26

    Something completely different

    June 26 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Today I was a little sad but also a little excited as I was leaving Edinburgh to take the train to Milngavie to start the West Highland Way. I really enjoyed my time in Edinburgh and probably could have spent a few more days here as there is just so much to see and do. It is always a good sign when you leave a place with a little regret. I still had a morning though before I had leave. My good colleague, a professed Scotsman, Dr Ross McLean had recommended a visit to Surgeon's Hall. Surgeon's Hall is a museum dedicated to the History of Medicine in UK. The museum took one through the early days of medicine starting in about 1600. We have certainly come a long way since the time of blood letting. I don't think the early physicians could offer much. I think they filled much of their time doing anatomy prosecutions some of which were preserved by paint and lacquer. Major breakthroughs were anaesthesia and sterile technique. During the Napoleonic wars approximately 90 per cent of people having surgery died of infection and sepsis. The museum also included a pathology museum which was a real treat. Surgical specimens and individual diseased organs from autopsies were preserved in square glass containers immersed in formaldehyde as teaching examples for students. They were an excellent means for teaching but very labor and time intensive to maintain. The formaldehyde had to be changed regularly. The specimens were also collected before the days of consent which has always cast some legal/moral issues on maintaining them. There was an excellent collection in Regina when I was there but the director was never sure what he should do with it and didn't have the resources to maintain it. I wonder if is still there. If a surgical pathologist can't enjoy a pathology museum, I don't know who can. Lots of specimens of very advanced tumors that we don't see anymore. Lots of advanced infection and rare infections that we wouldn't see with the advent of antibiotics. We truly live in a gifted time. There were also lots of specimens we still commonly see. Sorry no photos of the museum. It' against the UK tissue act and probably in bad taste. After a fun morning of death and disease I headed over to the John Lewis department store close to my BNB for a hardy lunch. John Lewis was a department store which had modern items but seemed a throwback to the 50s or 60s. I had bought an adaptor plug there the first day. They actually had sales people to wait on you and who seemed happy to help. The store offered pretty well everything and was actually busy. They even had a restaurant on the top floor offering hardy meals. I had a delightful Sri Lankan curry for lunch and enjoyed a wonderful view of downtown Edinburgh. It was surreal. After lunch I retrieved my luggage and heade off to Milngavie on the train for my next adventure. After checking into my BNB I headed to the start of the WHW for some photos and to check out the start.Read more