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  1. News Release

  2. Jun 19, 2018

Doctors’ Group Billboards Call Out Baystate Medical Center

Say Modern Medical Training Excludes Live Animal Use

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—Two new billboards in Springfield challenge Baystate Medical Center’s training methods. Sponsored by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a national nonprofit of more than 12,000 doctors, the ads depict a man in traditional Pilgrim clothing sporting a stethoscope, and state “Baystate Medical Center: Stuck in the Past. End Animal Use for Medical Training.”

Baystate continues to use animals for Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) training, even though training methods specifically modeled after humans are widely available and accepted to be equivalent or superior to animal training methods. Currently, 99 percent of surveyed ATLS programs (307 of 309) in the United States and Canada exclusively use nonanimal, human-based training methods, such as devices like the TraumaMan System, a realistic anatomical human-body simulator with lifelike skin, fat, and muscle. TraumaMan is used by the majority of ATLS courses and is endorsed by the American College of Surgeons, which accredits ATLS programs.

Emergency medicine residents also participate in Baystate’s animal lab, yet 95 percent (214 of 226) of surveyed U.S. and Canadian programs use only human-relevant methods, making Baystate an outlier in two areas of advanced medical training.

“Again, the Physicians Committee is urging that the Baystate ATLS program replace animal use with simulation, human cadavers, or other human-relevant training methods,” states John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., director of academic affairs with the Physicians Committee, in a letter to Ronald Gross, M.D., F.A.C.S., chief of the trauma, acute care, and surgical critical care division; and Benjamin Osborne, M.D., residency program director for the department of emergency medicine on June 7, 2018.

Trainees in Baystate’s ATLS courses are instructed to make incisions and insert tubes and needles into a pig’s chest cavity, abdomen, throat, and the sac surrounding the heart. If the animals survive the invasive procedures, they are killed following the training session.

Baystate already owns TraumaMan, so the medical center could end animal use immediately. It even has a state-of-the-art facility: the Baystate Simulation Center and the Goldberg Surgical Skills Laboratory.

The ads are both located on I-291, east of Exit 4, on the east side of the interstate. One faces east and the other west.

To speak with Dr. John Pippin or an area physician, or for a copy of the billboard artwork, please contact Reina Pohl at or 202-527-7326.


Media Contact

Reina Pohl, M.P.H.


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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