The doors of the School of Medicine have always been open to those seeking medical care. On a Saturday in October the school opened its doors to its neighbors as part of the University’s year-long celebration of its 300th birthday.

More than 500 people toured the medical school, which offered a lesson in virtual anatomy and, for children, the chance to dress up in medical gowns and pose for a snapshot with a 6-foot square photograph of an operating room as a backdrop. Throughout the University, more than 35,000 people attended the open house.

Celebrations started the day before, Friday, Oct. 20, with a community service award to Mayor John DeStefano Jr. from the School of Public Health. DeStefano was honored for his support of the Community Health Care Van, which provides medical services in underserved areas. The ceremony continued that day with the opening at the Sterling Hall of Medicine of Neighbors: Working Together for a Healthy New Haven, an exhibit of photographs by John Curtis showing students and faculty from the health professions working with local schools and community groups on a variety of projects, ranging from conflict resolution workshops to organizing a library at a shelter for women. (A photographic essay based on the exhibit appears in this issue of Yale Medicine.) Inside the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, the medical school’s Web designer, Patrick Lynch, opened an exhibit of his art. And the library rotunda was the site of an exhibit chronicling Medicine at Yale 1701-1865.

Joining Dean David A. Kessler, M.D., in launching the open house were Michael H. Merson, M.D., dean of public health, and Catherine L. Gilliss, D.N.SC., R.N., dean of the School of Nursing. Public service, Merson noted, is the force that drives public health. Gilliss recalled growing up in New Haven and the links between the University and the city. The medical school, Kessler said, is proud to be in such a vibrant community as New Haven.