Cincinnati Children's Hospital Ends Use of Live Ferrets for Pediatrics Training

The Physicians Committee
NEWS RELEASE June 2, 2011
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Ends Use of Live Ferrets for Pediatrics Training
John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C.

WASHINGTON—Cincinnati Children’s Hospital recently ended its invasive and unnecessary use of live ferrets for pediatrics training. Thanks to a national effort by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), pediatrics training programs like this are quickly moving away from the use of animals, making training more ethical and effective. More than 90 percent of pediatrics residency programs in the United States now use nonanimal methods.

In a letter dated today, John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., PCRM’s medical education and senior medical adviser, who worked with the hospital to adopt this curriculum change, congratulates CEO Michael Fisher on his institution's decision to end the use of ferrets:

June 2, 2011

Michael Fisher
President and CEO
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
3333 Burnet Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45229

Dear Mr. Fisher:

I am writing to congratulate Cincinnati Children’s Hospital on its recent decision to replace the use of ferrets with superior, human-based medical simulators in its pediatrics residency program. This wise decision means Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has joined the 92 percent of pediatrics residency programs nationwide using nonanimal methods to teach endotracheal intubation. This change, along with the recent decision by Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus to use medical simulation instead of live cats, means that all nine of Ohio’s pediatrics residency programs are free of animal use for this training purpose.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital was right to review the excellent simulation options and recognize that optimal training does not require that pediatrics residents force breathing tubes down animals’ throats causing tracheal bruising, bleeding, scarring, severe pain, and risking death.

Again, I would like to extend my congratulations to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for joining the overwhelming majority of pediatrics residency programs in the United States that offer residents this compassionate and superior training method. I applaud you for making the right decision for pediatrics residents and their future patients.


John J. Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C.
Senior Medical and Research Adviser

CC: Andrew T. Filak, Jr., M.D.
Interim Dean, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

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