At the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, a museum is dedicated to the history of the medical practice founded in 1892 by Andrew Taylor Still.

Osteopathy takes a "whole person" approach to medicine, which involves treating the mind, the body and the spirit.

At the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine on the Kirksville college campus, artifacts, photographs and literature chronicle the path of the medical practice beginning with the Still family's frontier cabin.

The cabin and the school's first building are both intact within the museum space. The cabin, built in Lee County, Virginia, in the 1820s, and the building, used from 1892-94, were both moved to the museum in 1994.

The white clapboard building replicates a medical classroom, with a table and chairs, books and a skeleton in the cabinet. Beyond the buildings is the Main Gallery, which houses exhibits that document the history of osteopathy, including a fully-dissected human nervous system.

An exhibit called "Whole Person Healthcare: Osteopathy through the life of Andrew Still" examines the turning points in Still's life that led to his medical conversion.

After serving as a hospital steward during the Civil War and losing a number of his family members, he concluded that orthodox medicine was frequently ineffective and sometimes harmful. Still spent 30 years studying the human body to find alternative ways of treating injury and disease. 

Elsewhere in the museum, the Johnston Gallery displays a collection that shows osteopathic medical research from the mid-19th century.

Museum attendants can give tours, or visitors can wander through on their own. The museum is free, but donations are welcome.

  • Community reporter, Spring 2019 studying Photojournalism Reach me at jrhdhd@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5700

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