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The Country Doctor Museum

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 East Carolina University’s Laupus Health Sciences Library.

The 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.

Contact Us

The Museum’s mailing address is as follows:

The Country Doctor Museum
P.O. Box 34
Bailey, NC 27807

The Museum’s physical address is as follows:

The Country Doctor Museum
7089 Peele Road
Bailey, NC 27807

Phone: (252) 235-4165

The Museum can be reached via phone during normal hours of operation (Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.) After-hour messages will be recorded for the following business day.

Museum Staff

Annie Anderson, M.A.

Museum Curator

Jan Gwaltney

Site Manager

Lizzie Yates

Docent and Collections Assistant


Barbara Harris Huffman


Social Media

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated on our events and special offers.

Pet Policy

Feel free to enjoy the Museum’s grounds with your furry companion, but please clean up any pet waste! Pets are not allowed inside the museum buildings, except for service dogs.

Artifact Donations

The museum is not currently accepting artifact donations.

Photography Policy

Visitors are welcomed to take photographs of the Museum and its campus, including the historic buildings and medicinal garden. You are requested to not use flash photography while inside the Museum’s buildings, as this deteriorates many of the artifacts on exhibit. Also, videotaping is prohibited. Thank you for helping protect our collection!

Employment Opportunities

For any current openings, please visit East Carolina University’s employment site.

Volunteer & Internship Opportunities

We welcome and appreciate volunteers and interns. To learn more about how you can make a difference at the museum as a volunteer or intern, please contact the curator or site manager directly.