Improving Pediatrics Training at University of Virginia
The Physicians Committee has successfully urged the University of Virginia to end its use of live cats to teach endotracheal intubation. UVA now joins the 98 percent of pediatrics residency programs that view nonanimal methods as not only more humane but educationally superior.
This change is the result of the Physicians Committee’s campaign that began in September 2010 and the support of members—including retired pediatrician Roberta Grey, M.D., who started a Change.org petition that received more than 185,000 signatures from people asking that UVA stop using live cats to teach endotracheal intubation.
The Physicians Committee also filed federal and state complaints against UVA’s animal use and held a demonstration outside the president’s office, and more than 200,000 supporters e-mailed UVA’s administrators encouraging the university to take this progressive step.
Endotracheal intubation training is now commonly taught using simulators, such as PREMIE Hal®, that match human anatomy and—unlike animals—are anatomically correct based on human physical structures and can be used repeatedly until the trainee has achieved mastery.