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  1. News Release

  2. Jul 1, 2019

Maine Medical Center Ends Animal Use for Resident Training

PORTLAND, Maine—The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit with more than 12,000 doctor members, congratulates Maine Medical Center (MMC) for ending its use of live animals in its emergency medicine residency program. Through conversations with leadership at the medical center, the Physicians Committee learned that the program is abandoning the use of live pigs, opting instead to exclusively use the high-quality, nonanimal training methods available in the center’s simulation lab, Hannaford Center for Safety, Innovation and Simulation.

Now only a handful of emergency medicine residency programs use animals for training, the vast majority favoring modern, human-based training methods instead of animals because they accurately replicate human anatomy (including layers of lifelike skin, fat, and muscle) and allow for repeated practice.

“We’re very pleased that Maine Medical Center now exclusively employs modern training methods,” said Physicians Committee director of academic affairs, John Pippin, MD, FACC. “We are hopeful that Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, MMC’s neighbor in New Hampshire, will follow this example.”

Currently, 96 percent of surveyed emergency medicine residency programs (259 of 270) in the United States and Canada exclude live animal use from training. Other regional programs at Boston University, Yale-New Haven Medical Center, and Massachusetts General Hospital also use human-relevant methods alone. Instead of animals, human-patient simulators, partial task trainers, and human cadavers are widely used for emergency medicine education.

To speak with Dr. Pippin, please contact Reina Pohl at 202-527-7326 or

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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