virtual field trips

Russell Museum, Mass General Hospital, and Bullfinch Building façades

The Russell Museum is pleased to offer two free virtual programs for educational and community groups of 10 people or more. They can be scheduled any time between 9 and 6 pm on weekdays, subject to staff availability, with at least two weeks’ notice.

The 45-minute Virtual Field Trip for eighth grade through adults includes information on Mass General history, the ether anesthesia story, some history of Mass General’s responses to other crises in the past, and information on Mass General’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. A staff member presents using photos and polls in a video meeting. 

The one-hour Ask Mass General: Health Careers Q&A program for sixth grade through college gives students a chance to ask the panelists about health careers. Panelists may be from any field of health care – patient care, research and health-care-specific administrative roles. We aim to have two to three panelists with different job roles at each program. 

At this time, we do not know when we will be resuming in-person field trips. When we do resume them, there will be a period of time when we’ll offer both a virtual and an in-person option. We do not currently have a virtual version of our popular medical simulation program, but we will make an announcement if and when this becomes available.

If you’re looking for resources to share with your students about what working in a hospital is like during a crisis, we recommend the Behind the Badge series on the Mass General news site. While written for a Mass General audience to help employees feel more connected to one another and to the hospital during this challenging time, they are short articles that introduce a variety of health-care-related careers, most of them nonclinical.

More details on both virtual programs:

  •  By default, we will do the presentation in Zoom, and we will send you a link and password beforehand to distribute to your students so that everyone can access it. The Zoom meeting will be password-protected so that only your students (and guests you invite, if applicable) can participate.
  • If your school or program uses another platform and you would prefer that we use that, please let us know during the scheduling process, and we will very likely be able to do so. Also, if you have a standing online meeting and you would prefer that our staff member joins that meeting rather than sending a separate link, let us know; this will work as long as the staff member is granted permission to share their screen.
  • The program is designed to be done as a virtual meeting in which all participants are in separate locations, but if you and your group will be in the same location as one another and only the presenter is remote, it will still work.
  • You’re welcome to schedule both types of program, on the same day or different days; their content overlaps very little.
  • If anyone in your group has accessibility needs not covered here that we should know about, please let us know.

More details on the virtual field trip:

  • The program is designed to be 45 minutes with time for discussion built in, but if you would like more time for discussion, it can also be scheduled for 60 minutes.
  • The bulk of the presentation will involve a Russell Museum staff member presenting with a slide deck of images in screen-share mode. We will ask that students turn off their microphones except when speaking.
  • The presentation includes three open-ended polls using the polling platform Poll Everywhere, which is FERPA-compliant and doesn’t collect personal data. Students can go to the poll in a web browser or respond to it by text message. There’s no setup required beforehand; the polls are integrated into the presentation. If a student isn’t able to access the poll for any reason, they can share their response in the Zoom chat.
  • Although students will be welcome to ask questions during the presentation, the last portion of the virtual field trip will be devoted to questions, and students asking questions will be encouraged to turn on their microphone, although they are welcome to ask via chat if they prefer.

More details on the Health Careers Q&A:

  • The panelists and a museum staff member will each be on a separate computer in a web meeting.
  • The program is driven by students’ questions. Each panelist will briefly introduce themselves and what they do, and the rest of the time will be answering questions.
  • Students will be encouraged to turn on their microphones to ask questions, but are welcome to ask via chat if they prefer.
  • The program is designed for career exploration, and it is not a time to ask for health advice or networking opportunities.

For questions or to schedule a virtual field trip, email 


The Russell Museum does not yet have an estimated reopening date, and in-person group visits are not being scheduled at this time.

The Russell Museum has several offerings for groups. The museum itself is available for visitors to explore at their own pace; groups of 10 or more are required to make a reservation. We recommend 45 minutes for a group visit, which includes an introduction by a docent and time for self-guided exploration. The museum also provides 45-minute group tours of the Ether Dome, which can be extended into a history tour of the hospital with several additional stops.

Group visits are available on weekdays between 9 am and 5 pm with advance reservation. If your group is larger than 20 people, they can be split into smaller groups to do the visit back-to-back. We recommend the museum and Ether Dome for 8th grade and up.

The museum is partnering with the medical simulation group at MGH to provide interactive experiences with medical simulation for interested visiting groups. These demonstrations can include either hands-on simulated arthroscopic knee surgery or a demonstration of a medical simulation mannequin. If your school or community group of between 5 and 15 people is interested in this opportunity, please contact the museum with as much advance notice as possible. Simulation demonstrations are limited by the availability of the clinicians and the equipment. Please plan to spend an hour and a half in the museum for the demonstration and museum visit.

Please feel free to download our group visit policies.

For questions or to reserve a group visit, email 

If you are interested in a hospital history tour but are not coming with a group, you can attend one of our public MGH history tours. For more information, visit the museum’s Facebook or Eventbrite pages, or email to join the mailing list.