University of Michigan Ends Use of Dogs in ATLS Class

The Physicians Committee
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University of Michigan Ends Use of Dogs in ATLS Class

Don't put man's best friend under the knife. Stop the University of Michigan's dog lab.

The University of Michigan has ended the use of live dogs in its Advanced Trauma Life Support course, according to a university statement released Thursday afternoon. The school deserves tremendous credit for moving to nonanimal training tools, according to PCRM cardiologist John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C.

In the past six weeks, the University of Michigan has heard from thousands of people concerned about the school’s use of live dogs from Michigan animal shelters in the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course.

The school’s Graduate Medical Education Committee recently met and decided that only simulators should be used in the ATLS course.

"We are very pleased that the University of Michigan has conducted a careful review of teaching methods for their Advanced Trauma Life Support Program and that simulators are replacing shelter dogs acquired through pound seizure," said PCRM cardiologist John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C. "This is yet more confirmation that it is unnecessary to use and kill animals to teach trauma skills. The University of Michigan has now joined the other eight Michigan ATLS programs, and more than 90 percent of U.S. and Canadian ATLS programs, in eliminating the use of animals while improving the quality of training. They are to be congratulated."

While a handful of institutions continue to use live animals, the American College of Surgeons, the ATLS oversight body, has approved nonanimal models like the TraumaMan System, Synman, and human cadavers for these courses. Across the United States and Canada more than 90 percent of ATLS courses are taught using only human-based simulators.

Learn more about the TraumaMan System and the University of Michigan’s simulation center. If you have any questions, please contact Manager of Humane Education Programs Ryan Merkley at rmerkley@pcrm.org.