Greeted by the words 'skull, every medical student had one' printed beside real human skulls, promises to lead to many fascinating artefacts no longer in use.
Situated in historic Freshney House, formerly a nurses' residence, the museum displays numerous instruments from times past. A tonsil snare, glass syringes, a club foot wrench and bone clamps are things one may not wish to become better acquainted with. Nurses' uniforms, photos and books tell the stories of former staff and patients, including the story of a Typhus outbreak.
In 1859, Toowoomba's first hospital was a four-room cottage on Russell Street. In 1861, there were only 66 patients but in two years this increased to 219. A fire later destroyed an attempt to run the hospital on a downtown street corner. All patients were rescued from the burning building.
In 1881, the new two storey Toowoomba Hospital, of Italian Gothic design, opened on West Street. A morgue, surgeon's residence, womens' ward and other buildings were added, plus a vegetable garden to provide food for the hospital.
A visit to the museum would add interest to the curriculum of student nurses and doctors. Perusing the display may take an hour. Easiest pedestrian access is from West Street, then visit Freshney House reception. Hospital parking is off Pechey Street, so you may prefer to enquire at the information desk.
Open 12-2pm on the first Wednesday of each month or by appointment, phone 07 4616 6166.