Ethics in Pediatrics Training

The Physicians Committee

Ethics in Pediatrics Training


The use of live animals in pediatrics residency training was once a common practice. Today, however, the vast majority of these courses use nonanimal teaching tools.

Animals in Pediatrics Residencies

The primary emergency procedure taught in pediatrics residency training is endotracheal intubation, a medical procedure in which a tube is placed into the windpipe (trachea) through the mouth, or sometimes through the nose. In the past, most pediatrics residencies used cats or ferrets to train their residents in this procedure.

Animals are typically used over and over for intubation training. Animals used in these training procedures often suffer tracheal bruising, bleeding, scarring, severe pain, and even death. The anatomical differences between these animals and humans render this type of training ineffective.

Moreover, specifically developed simulators can completely replace the use of animals in pediatrics residency programs. In fact, studies have shown that these simulators are educationally superior to the crude and outdated methodology of using live animals. Read more>

Premie HAL is used to demonstrate how caregivers can properly care for a compromised newborn.


PCRM’s Survey of Pediatrics Residencies

In 2008, PCRM began a survey of pediatrics residency programs in the United States. Because of the large number of facilities involved, the survey is ongoing, but so far the results have been encouraging. See the current results>

PCRM urges the minority of programs that continue to use live animals to end this inhumane and outdated practice at once in order to provide a better educational experience for their trainees and to save animals from unnecessary pain and suffering.

PCRM will employ the same strategies in this campaign that have been so successful over the years in ending the use of live animals in medical schools and in Advanced Trauma Life Support courses in over 95 percent of universities and other facilities that offer this training.

SimNewB is a lifelike computerized model of a newborn baby.