UNIVERSITY MUSEUM OF THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE
University Museum is an educational and scientific institution created to study the foundation and development of the university, ethical and deontological education of the young generation in medical culture. Considering the fact that the valuing of the past generates a prosperous future, and true generosity of all this lies in giving everything to present, we can say with certainty that the museum is an institution that collects, stores and retains the finest historical materials, both with cultural and educational purposes, as well as promoting new ideas, visions, progress.
One of the debts of honor, for any self-respecting university, is the knowledge of their own history. In this context, we want to mention that the museum was designed with the idea of respect for the past and the values transferred to the new generation, and exhibits – photographs, treaties, scientific papers, journals, diplomas, certificates, – are accumulated over time.
Several stages in the evolution of the museum were passed since its founding in 1975 until today.
Museum of the history of medicine has emerged at the initiative and under the direct leadership of the distinguished physician, scientist, statesman Nicholae Testemitanu – organizer of health care in Moldova, rector of the State Medical Institute in Chisinau between the years 1959-1963, the founder of bases of medical education in Moldova. Nicholae Testemiţanu was always of the opinion that Moldova should prepare its own specialists in the domain of medicine. The museum was founded on the initiative of Nicolae Testemiţanu in 1975, and is focused on images from the history of medicine. The first exhibitions of the museum of the history of medicine were dedicated to the memory of doctors of the Institute of Medicine and Pharmacy, participants in the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), these being the subject of many other exhibitions in the museums of Chisinau. In 1975 a group of employees of the Department of Social Hygiene, under professor, Nicholae Testemiţanu received the State Prize in Science and Technology, a phenomenon widely promoted in the work of the museum.
Initially, the room where the museum was located (the current meeting room, study building C) was old, not being suitable for a museum. All the exhibits were placed without a well-determined structure, thematic exhibitions were held in quite limited spaces, and auxiliary storage rooms were missing. To solve the problem of museum space, in 1985, the Senate and the rector of the State Institute of Medicine and Pharmacy of Chisinau Vasile Anestiadi took a decision to submit a petition to the Government, requesting the transfer of the “House museum S. Lazo” under the management of the Institute.
During the period 1978-1986 the work of the museum was dedicated to scientific and teaching activity. At that time the museum had many visitors and was popular both among students and medical specialists. Teaching instructional activity, which implemented new forms and methods of teaching and evaluating knowledge, increased as well. Teaching materials and methods for all subjects were reissued and the educational process was significantly improved, standing out as one of the most intensive and progressive in the university. A renovated methodical activity was performed in clinics, where students had their traineeships.
In the spring of 1987, according to the decision of rector (Leonid Cobileanschi), the museum moved from the administrative building C to the house were our compatriot S. Lazo, participant in the civil war in the Far East of the former Soviet Union, lived during the period 1910-1912. During this period the personnel of the museum develop a thematic exhibition plan. Soon museum visitors become familiar with the new exhibition located in seven themed halls: higher medical education; medical science; remarkable personalities; founders of departments and scientific medical schools; achievements of health care with scientific potential. Completion of funds with materials and exhibits, their number exceeded 3,000 units, has begun. Frequency rate reached 5,000 visits anually, the number of employees of the museum has increased. The museum was visited by former presidents of the country P.Lucinschi M.Snegur numerous international delegations (Romania, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Russia, etc..).
In 2002 the Organic Law Nr.1596-XV titled “Museums Law” was passed, which stipulates the structure, organization and operation of museums, museum heritage, material and technical basis. Due to the aforementioned law, the museum staff have taken steps to standardize museum heritage, also the first attempts to move the museum to another office were undertaken.
During the period 2005-2011 the museum activity is directed towards the selection of materials for the renewal of the museum stands, referring to academicians and corresponding members of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova. The manual titled “Museum Guide” is published, which reflects the stages of development of the university museum.
Considering the importance of further functioning of the university museum, current rector, academician Ion Ababii, has taken vigorous actions for construction process that has already started, of a new building of the museum, located near the housing complex “Nicolae Testemitanu from Malina Mica. Rector I. Ababii also strongly promotes the idea of creating the Museum of History of Medicine in Moldova.
It is currently developed a questionnaire, which will be sent to the heads of PMI to gather historical materials from medical institutions of the country, and create a database that covers the history of medicine. At the same time, activities related to the creation of the database of digital museum photos are carried out. In perspective, the material gathered will form the foundation of the Museum of the History of Medicine in Moldova. In agreement with the university administration, together with the Information Technologies Service and university photographer, we aim to create a virtual museum on the site of the university with a view to its recognition.
Although many plans and ideas exist, their implementation depends on the concept of development of the museum and their funding.
Every man is a question asked again to the spirit of the Universe, and the discovery path can only be a natural desire: to search, to seek, to know; which would involve placing knowledge in the foundation of memory like a Will.
Following the presentation of these data, we can say with conviction that the Museum of the History of Medicine has the distinguished opportunity to achieve the desired goal: possession of a powerful arsenal, which our nation inherited from ancestors in the domain of medicine.