Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences Henry Forman Atkinson Dental Museum

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A Body of Knowledge Symposium - September 15 2012

The Melbourne Dental School's Dr. Anthony Hill is one of the speakers at the A Body of Knowledge Symposium to be held in the Elizabeth Murdoch Bulding on Saturday September 15. Dr. Hill will speak in his capacity as the President of the Australian Society of Forensic Odontology and Society representative Interpol DVI Organisation, on the topic of the genesis of forensic odontology. Admissions are free, but bookings are recommended. Further details here


A Body of Knowledge

The Art of Teaching: Models and Methods
September 13, 2012 - January 20, 2013
Leigh Scott Gallery, 1st floor, Baillieu Library,
The University of Melbourne
Further information on this forthcoming event and other events in relation to the Melbourne Medical School’s 150th Anniversary can be found here.



Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 July, 2012 
Further information on the event can be found here.

Cavities, keys and camels: Early dentistry in Victoria

Leigh Scott Gallery, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

9 September to 28 November 2010

In the early days of Victoria, dentistry was carried out by a range of people including jewellers blacksmiths, chemists and doctors. Extractions were the main treatment for dental pain and anaesthetics were not yet in common usage. By the mid-1880s, however, following the formation of the Odontological Society of Victoria (1884), movement was afoot for the establishment of a dental act, a hospital for the treatment of the poor and a college for the formal training of dentists.

Cavities, keys and camels: Early dentistry in Victoria explores the social history, technical developments and professional foundation of dentistry in Victoria. The exhibition draws upon the extensive collection of the Henry Forman Atkinson Dental Museum at the University of Melbourne and other cultural collections of the University of Melbourne including the Ian Potter Museum of Art, Special Collections in the Baillieu Library, the Medical History Museum, the University of Melbourne Herbarium and the University of Melbourne Archives to present the story of dentistry in Victoria from the early days of European settlement and establishment, to the beginning of the 20th century and the emergence of an organised, qualified dental profession.

Cavities, Keys and Camels

Staff, students and patient in the Porcelain room, Australian College of Dentistry, including from  (l to r) Dr E F Greenwood, Mr Oscar Behrend, Mr T Unsworth, Dr Angus Bain, Mr Ernest Joske and  Mr L Price, c.1907, sepia toned photograph, 14.5 x 20.0 cm. Reg. no. 1232/3/63, Henry Forman Atkinson Dental Museum, University of Melbourne

Henry Forman Atkinson Dental Museum Featured on Collectors TV Program

The Henry Forman Atkinson Dental Museum was featured on the Collectors program on ABC TV on Friday 7 May. View the segment online.

Public Lecture: Medicalia - Melbourne’s Health and Medical Collections Unveiled

Melbourne’s health and medical collections constitute a remarkable resource, often only familiar to professionals and students from related fields. This lecture series aims to inform the public about the histories and stories of medicine, dentistry, surgery, anaesthesia, obstetrics and gynaecology and other related specialties through the rich collections held at the University of Melbourne, the Colleges and Health and Medical Museums throughout Melbourne

It will draw on the expertise of medical and museum professionals to bring their collections’ histories and stories to life. It aims to improve understanding, encourage public interest and where appropriate, inspire individuals to visit and engage first-hand with these unique collections.

Professor Emeritus Henry Atkinson will give the lecture "Dentistry through the Museum's eyes" on Thursday 22nd April 2010. For more details on the lecture series click here. Information about how to access audio recordings of the lectures will be available shortly.

ABC Television Program "Can We Help" films story at the Melbourne Dental School

“Can we help?” the ABC Information program hosted by Peter Rowsthorn came to visit the Melbourne Dental School in late 2008, in response to a viewer question “Do trainee dentists practice on real people?”  The program briefly covered the significant academic studies that student dentists have to undertake – and showed that the practical side is just part of a much bigger picture.  The focus of the program was not on the academic side of things. The emphasis was getting to grips with how student dentists learn the practical, hands on skills they need as qualified dentists. The program used the viewer question as a springboard to look at other interesting issues surrounding the subject. The program knew that trainee dentists don’t go straight from the books to patients to practice on – they wanted to find out what’s in between.

Some of the questions asked were “Do students practice on dummies, volunteers or friends?  How do they learn to give injections? How do the students feel about their first real patient?”

Host of "Can We Help", Peter Rowsthorn, gets "hands-on" experience with a manikin in the Simulation Laboratory. Dr David Manton watches as Peter learns some of the skills required to handle a dental handpiece.
Staff Member Sue Dobell assists Peter with his "patient". Filming students at work in the Preclinical Laboratory.

The film crew also took time out to visit the Henry Forman Atkinson Dental Museum. Professor Atkinson spoke about the history of dentistry and dental training, identified some of the early instruments and demonstrated how the pedal engine was used.

Peter interviews Professor Henry Atkinson in the Henry Forman Atkinson Dental Museum at the Melbourne Dental School. Peter with Prof Atkinson and Museum Cuator Louise Murray.

The story (episode 8) featuring the School aired on the ABC on Friday April 3 and can be viewed at the Can We Help website and is available from the video download page.