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“Way Beyond Science”

International Museum of Surgical Science
Ranked #100 of 642 things to do in Chicago
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Attraction details
Owner description: A branch of the International College of Surgeons that is dedicated to portraying the art and science of surgery.
Scotts, Michigan
Level Contributor
36 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Way Beyond Science”
Reviewed May 26, 2014

Attending with a scientist and my being a history teacher, I still found this a wonderful experience. The architecture of the building was tremendous and there were numerous statues and paintings to enjoy. My favorites are a death mask of Napoleon Bonaparte and a life-sized bust of Maurice Tillett, who had acromegaly (large extremities). If you live in Chicago, it is along Lake Shore Drive; so, you have probably driven by it countless times and did not even notice it.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank cork1959
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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144 reviews from our community

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Needmore, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
43 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Nice displays, terrible parking system”
Reviewed March 4, 2014

I spent a few hours here with a friend. Neither of us are medical professionals, but we both enjoyed the museum. It was roomy, interesting, thought-provoking, and very affordable with a Groupon. Bathroom facilities are cold. No lockers available. Parking was a real hassle. There was no street parking, and although the museum validated our parking garage ticket, it was tricky to find the garage and to figure out the valet-only parking. The displays were thorough and interesting, although it's easy to be disappointed when comparing them to the world-class museums nearby. I'm not sure I would recommend it for children--there weren't many hands-on or interactive displays.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank CarrieAlma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rapid City, South Dakota
Level Contributor
461 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
“interesting museum”
Reviewed December 16, 2013

We were in Chicago for the weekend and needed a break from shopping, so we spent an hour at the surgical museum. I'm a Nurse Practitioner so of course I was interested in the displays, but my fiance who is a facility manager (ie, NOT medical) was really impressed too. The plasticized bodies that showed muscles and circulation were especially interesting for him, and I really enjoyed the large murals depicting early surgery, c-sections, etc. The fact that it's called a "surgical" museum is a bit of a misnomer--this museum covers pretty much every aspect of healthcare. There are displays over the history of nursing, radiology, pseudo-medicine (UV therapy for hair removal etc), gestation, dentistry, pharmacy...anything you can think of. The museum is housed in a beautiful old mansion--stop in the gift shop and they can tell you a quick history of the house. Overall a good visit and I learned a few things!

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Coby S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
196 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“Hidden jem”
Reviewed November 21, 2013

My sisters-in-law and I took our kids, ages 10-18, to the museum on a free day(every Tuesday). Definitely visit the website before visiting. There are three parking garages that offer validated parking $9-$11. We had the kids read the short descriptions of the exhibits so that they were familiar with the museum. (If you are afraid of getting queasy, this info might settle your fears.)
*Small museum means more time to linger in the exhibit rooms. We were here for about two hours.
*Upon arrival the Director of Education was extremely helpful and even had worksheets for the kids.
* Artist in residence was happy to answer questions about her art work.
* This mansion that houses the museum has been well preserved, read more on the website or ask the employees, it has a cool history!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank 18kimmr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairo, Egypt
Level Contributor
26 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Excellent museums for physicians and nurses”
Reviewed November 21, 2013

This museum is recommended for health care staff. It has many old things to be seen for the history of medicine. The problem is that the museum does not advertise or market for itself properly. If you go on Tuesdays will not be charged the $10 of admission :).

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank ElShami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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