ROCHESTER, Minn.—The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit with more than 12,000 doctor members, congratulates Mayo Clinic in Rochester for ceasing its use of live animals in its emergency medicine residency program. In February, the Physicians Committee filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture over this practice.
Previously, residents at Mayo Clinic were instructed to practice invasive airway procedures on live pigs.
Virtually all emergency medicine residency programs refrain from using animals for training, opting instead to exclusively use modern, human-relevant training methods. Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis confirmed in February that it had ended animal use following several requests from the Physicians Committee to do so. Human-patient simulators and partial task trainers feature layers of lifelike skin, fat, and muscle, accurately replicating human anatomy and allowing for repeated practice.
“It was the right move for Mayo Clinic to modernize its curriculum,” said Physicians Committee director of academic affairs, John Pippin, MD, FACC. “Human-based training methods can better prepare residents to perform life-saving procedures.”
Currently, 96 percent of surveyed emergency medicine residency programs (260 of 270) in the United States and Canada exclude live animal use from training.
To speak with Dr. Pippin, please contact Reina Pohl at 202-527-7326 or rpohl [at] pcrm.org.
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.