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New Video Uncovers Lethal Use of Pigs for Medical School Training

pigA scalpel slices through a live pig. The chest is cracked open. An instructor shocks and manipulates the heart. The pig is killed. This is how pigs are unlawfully used to teach medical students at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

A training video PCRM obtained through the Freedom of Information Act reveals this unlawful use of live pigs to teach first-year medical students at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHU) also unlawfully uses live pigs in its medical student curriculum. Watch graphic video of the lethal use of pigs for medical school training >

Last month, Maryland physicians, including two JHU graduates, joined PCRM in filing criminal complaints with two state’s attorney’s offices to halt both medical schools’ animal labs, which violate the Maryland animal cruelty law.

Fifty-three pigs are used and killed in USUHS’ training each year. In JHU’s third-year surgery rotation, students make incisions and insert endoscopes (long tubes with cameras) into the pig. The procedures cause severe injuries, and the animals are killed at the end of each session. 

“Training on live animals offers an inferior educational experience. A pig’s anatomy is different from a person’s, and medical students can get a better education using state-of-the-art, human-centered technology,” says John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., PCRM senior medical and research adviser.

Both USUHS and JHU have access to numerous simulators and partial task trainers via their state-of-the-art simulation centers. If these simulation centers were fully utilized, the universities could immediately replace the use of animals.

Nonanimal training methods are used by more than 95 percent of U.S. and Canadian medical schools, including the Georgetown University School of Medicine, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

To help save animals at medical schools that continue to use and kill animals, visit

John J. Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C.
John J. Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C.

PCRM Online, March 2011

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