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  1. News Release

  2. Mar 6, 2023

Billboards Ask “Missouri: Does Your Doctor Think You’re a Pig?” as National Physicians Group Urges MU to Replace Animals in Deadly Training Labs

Event on Campus Delivered More Than 50,000 Petitions to President Choi

COLUMBIA, Mo.—The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit of more than 17,000 doctor members, is calling for improvements to training at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. The advocacy organization for best practices coordinated an on-campus protest, a petition delivery to MU president Dr. Mun Choi, and area billboards that urge the university to replace the use of animals in its emergency medicine training program.

Protesters joined retired emergency medicine physician Kerry Foley outside MU’s student union to urge an end to the use of live animals. Holding banners and signs and speaking to the media and passersby, members of the group noted that 97% of emergency medicine programs do not use animals. Every other emergency medicine residency in Missouri, including Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis University School of Medicine, Freeman Heath System in Joplin, and MU’s other campus in Kansas City, all use human-relevant training methods, such as simulators, task trainers, and human cadavers, to train residents. The group also delivered 52,454 petition signatures from people across the country to Dr. Choi’s office. Meanwhile, nearby billboards feature an image of a pig as a patient in a hospital bed and read: “Missouri: Does your doctor think you’re a pig?” 

At MU, emergency medicine trainees are instructed to cut into pigs’ throats, chests, and abdominal cavities to insert needles and tubes and to spread the animals’ ribs to access their hearts. The animals are then killed. The petition text notes that MU’s Shelden Clinical Simulation Center could be used to replace the use of animals in the emergency medicine residency.

“It is time for MU to step into the 21st century,” said Dr. Foley. “Hundreds of medical centers across the country have realized that practicing on animals is unnecessary and cruel.” Dr. Foley pointed out that scientific studies conducted by physicians and the U.S. military support replacing animals in emergency medicine training. 

For an interview with Dr. Foley, a copy of the petition, or to see the billboard artwork or locations, please contact Reina Pohl at 202-527-7326 or rpohl [at] (rpohl[at]pcrm[dot]org).

Media Contact

Reina Pohl, MPH



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

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