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“If you're interested in medical pathology & history, go!!!”

Indiana Medical History Museum
Ranked #32 of 170 things to do in Indianapolis
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The museum represents the beginning of scientific psychiatry and modern medicine while the building itself is the oldest surviving pathology facility in the nation and is on the National Register of Historic Places.The museum is open to the public Thurs-Sat from 10am to 4pm. Tours take place every half hour, with the last tour beginning at 3pm. Groups of 10 or more may be scheduled in advance for Wednesday or for regular operating hours.Admission: Adults $5, University Students $3, Children under 18 $1. The museum is unable to accept credit cards.
Useful Information: Stairs / elevator, Bathroom facilities
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“If you're interested in medical pathology & history, go!!!”
Reviewed March 24, 2014

This is an obscure museum that many Indy residents don't even know about, but we've traveled all over the country and this place is a gem! A docent takes you on a guided tour, 1- 1 1/2 hours. Don't be afraid to ask a couple of questions, they're full of fascinating little stories and tidbits that aren't part of their regular talking points. This is the Pathology building for the "insane asylum" that was built in 1896 and operated into the 60's. It also served as a teaching venue for future doctors, where they performed and demonstrated autopsies in the classroom that is straight out of old 1800's pictures you've seen. Fascinating collection of brain and organ slides on display with various, visible maladies, such as brain tumors, hemorrhage, syphilis, etc, etc... Might be intense or macabre for the squeamish, but if you're into it, go, go, go! Definitely worth your time. Price is modest- they receive no government funding. Hours are limited, so check their web page, before-hand.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank lovetotravelu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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93 reviews from our community

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English first
Cary, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Fascinating exhibits and stories”
Reviewed March 15, 2014

This is a jewel of an unusual museum little known by many but very deserving of a look by those interested in the mental health field. My tour guide was knowledgeable, friendly, well-versed about the interesting exhibits and she passed along many human interest stories about the researchers and scientists who had worked and studied there in an era past. The museum is a bit isolated but well worth the effort of a short car trip from the center of Indianapolis. For me, this visit was an adventure of learning and entertainment. This is a unique museum of medical history and a real treat !

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Judy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Level Contributor
312 reviews
108 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
“A Hidden Gem off the beaten track!”
Reviewed March 6, 2014

If you are interested at all in medical history this is a must visit. The amphitheater classroom used to observe surgeries is intact. There is a collection of preserved human organs including brains, lungs etc. from people of all ages. The guides know their business, and even though it sounds a little 'macabre', it allows one to understand what and how a surgeon learned his or her practice in years past.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank William L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
carmel,Indiana
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Very Interesting and a little bit "creepy"”
Reviewed December 29, 2013

Very educational visit here to this historical medical museum built in 1895 specializing
in helping the mentally insane. We saw a pathology lab with iron lung, a lot
of brain specimens preserved under glass, learned a lot about the history
of medicine.This lovely building is located on the dilapidated grounds, where the
Central Indiana Hospital for the insane used to be. Cost was $6.00 per person
Takes approximately 1 hour. Would not bring young children here. Maybe 16years and older.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank amymc7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Ohio
Level Contributor
48 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Very interesting.”
Reviewed November 16, 2013

It was more then I expected. The tour guide was very friendly and very knowledgable. She would point out small details that could have been over looked. Very interesting how doctors didn't know what mental illness they were dealing with but studied each person after they passed to find a way to help. The tour takes about an hour. It is best to show up on the hour. The down side is this is located in a rough part of town and the signs to the museum are small. Well worth the trip! It was $7 to get in and I would have paid more.

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

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