The Pioneer Memorial Museum - The Medical Room


One of the most interesting phases of pioneer life was that concerning the medical profession. In the early period, Brigham Young wasn't too kind to the Doctors who arrived in the valley, and even went as far as encouraging them to give up medicine and become involved in another vocation. Brigham Young did approve of the Thompsonian method of medicine that used herbs and faith in healing, though, and honored midwifery and promoted its practice. President Young and other L.D.S. church leaders even "set apart" certain women to practice these "approved" medical procedures.

Fortunately, in later years, President Young caught a new vision of medicine and health care. Realizing the importance of the medical profession, President Young sent women to medical schools on the Eastern seaboard to study and learn the profession. When these women doctors returned to Utah with their degrees, they set up practices and with the encouragement of President Young, established training schools for nurses, public health organizations, and hospital care.

In the medical room at the Pioneer Memorial Museum, one can enjoy a display of tools and equipment used in the pioneer period, see portraits of women doctors, midwives, and nurses. One can also learn about one of the first female doctors to return to Utah and establish her practice in the valley. An impressive display case holds diplomas, photos and other memorabilia of this early pioneer doctor, Doctor Ellis Reynolds Shipp, and can be found in the medical room on the second floor of the museum.