You would never guess how fascinating urologic history could be. What is urology? It is the branch of medicine and physiology that centers around the urinary system (think prostate cancer, urinary tract issues, etc.). Want to know more about the 19th century school of medicine and advances that are taking place?
There is an entire urologic history museum dedicated to the development of the urologic sciences at the Didusch Center for Urologic History. And it is just outside of Baltimore, MD.
We chatted with Tupper Stevens, Museum and Archives Manager at the William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History at the American Urological Association, to find out what makes this urology museum so special, why you should visit and what you need to know before you go.
Table of Contents
Where is the museum located?
Location: William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History, American Urological Association, 1000 Corporate Drive, Linthicum, MD 21090
What topics does the museum cover?
The Didusch Center for Urologic History covers Stone Surgery, Cystoscopy, Prostate Resection, Catheters, Medical Illustration, Pediatric Urology, Quackery and Sexuality.
What is your museum’s claim to fame?
Our 10-pound bladder stone removed from a patient in Washington State.
What is your favorite exhibit or artifact in the museum?
Hmmm. It would have to be either the stone that formed around a thermometer in a young patient’s bladder (see it here) or the Cat-Claw device used to electrify obstructing prostatic tissue in the hopes it would die off (watch the video here)
What kinds of special exhibits and events do you host throughout the year?
The Museum is contained within a working medical association; most events are private for members of the American Urological Association, though we do offer private guided tours for small groups.
Are there guided tours available?
Tupper Stevens, Museum and Archives Manager, is available for guided tours of the museum at hours when the building is open (8-4 pm M-F) by prior arrangement (email or phone call to 410-689-3785). Other hours can be arranged with advance notice.
No audio tours, self-guided tours are fine, though advised for visitors familiar with urologic surgery.
How much time should someone plan to spend at the museum?
It takes a good hour to see the main exhibits; if you are fascinated by the strange world of medical history and what’s backstage, I would allow 90 minutes to two hours.
What should someone bring with them and what items are not allowed in the museum?
Visitors are restricted by their own common sense. We will see how that works.
Is photography allowed inside (without flash)?
Yes, and visitors do like to take photographs.
What should parents of young children know before visiting the museum?
I would think twice before bringing a young child to this museum. It is a museum that features surgery on the genitourinary system, which I hope most young children will not need to consider.
What’s the coolest item for sale in the gift shop?
Probably our Happy Men, which you can see here: urologichistory.museum/museum-gift-shop
Is there a museum cafe or restaurant? What’s the tastiest thing for sale in the cafe or snack stand?
No, but we have excellent restaurants nearby. The most well-known is probably G&M, which features Baltimore-famous crab cakes.
What should teachers planning a field trip know before reaching out to you?
Be prepared to talk about penises if you decide this is an appropriate venue. I would love to encourage young scientists to consider the field of urology!
What else should a visitor know before visiting?
This is a urological museum built by urologists, for urologists. Nevertheless, it is an intriguing museum for those who would like to learn more about this surgical specialty. After all, urination and sex are basic human activities.
What are your normal days and hours of operation?
Generally the museum is open 8am-4p, Monday through Friday. Other times can be accommodated by appointment.
If you would like a guided tour or museum orientation (and I do recommend it), it is best to call ahead. Unless I have a meeting, I will do my best to be available.
Does the museum have a bag check or coat room?
Yes, there is a place to leave coats by the security desk.
Is there parking available?
Yes, there are visitor spots in front of the American Urological Association building and an employee parking lot behind.
Is there an admission fee?
There is no charge to visit the museum or for a guided tour; we do encourage donations.