Planning a visit to the Country Doctor Museum this summer? Please keep in mind the museum will be closed for the following summer holidays: Saturday, May 26th (Memorial Day weekend), Wednesday, July 4th and Saturday, Sept 1st (Labor Day weekend).
The Country Doctor Museum invites people of all ages to visit and learn about the history of rural health care in the United States. Docents lead tours through three buildings of exhibits and are available to answer questions. Exhibits contain artifacts relevant to the practice of medicine between the late 18th century and the first half of the 20th century.
The Country Doctor Museum is the oldest museum in the United States dedicated to the history of America's rural health care. It was created in 1967 by a group of energetic women from North Carolina, whose initial interest was to build a lasting memorial for rural physicians. Over the decades, the Museum's collection grew to over 5,000 medical artifacts and many volumes of historic texts gathered from across the nation. The interpretive range also expanded from rural doctors to include topics such as nursing, pharmaceuticals, and home remedies.
In 2001, the Country Doctor Museum's board of directors decided to seek new stewardship. With its focus on primary care medicine, the division of Health Sciences at East Carolina University seemed to be an appropriate guardian. After two years of negotiations, the Museum was donated to the Medical Foundation of East Carolina University. Through an agreement with the Foundation, the Museum is managed today as part of the History Collections of Laupus Library.