- Mary Sue ColemanPresident, University of Michigan
- Joseph C. Kolars, M.D.Dean, University of Michigan Medical School
- Mark Lowell, M.D.Survival Flight Training
- Animal Research ProgramOffice of the Vice President for Research
University of Michigan: Stop Using Live Pigs and Cats in Medical Training
The University of Michigan is one of only five percent of programs that still use live animals in emergency response training. Although U of M switched from dogs to simulators for similar trauma training courses, their Survival Flight training still uses pigs and cats for trainees to practice on.
U of M claims that training Survival Flight nurses "requires these procedures to be performed on live tissues." However, the professional organization representing flight nurses, the Air & Surface Transport Nurses Association, disagrees. They not only endorse the use of simulators to teach these skills, but in the last year, 29 out of 30 of their own training courses used simulators instead of animals.
Tell the University of Michigan to stop using live animals in their Survival Flight Training.
Photo credit: TerryJohnston
- President, University of Michigan
Mary Sue Coleman
- Dean, University of Michigan Medical School
Joseph C. Kolars, M.D.
- Survival Flight Training
Mark Lowell, M.D.
- Office of the Vice President for Research
Animal Research Program
I recently learned on Change.org that the University of Michigan continues to use live pigs and cats in Survival Flight training. While I commend the University for switching over to simulators in other courses for nurses and physicians, the ongoing use of animals in this course is outdated and inhumane.
Although the University's position has been that animals are necessary for this type of training, other institutions which offer the same training disagree. In fact, the Air & Surface Transport Nurses Association not only endorses the use of simulators to teach these skills, but in the last year, 29 out of 30 of their own training courses used simulators instead of animals.
While animals may provide live tissue for nurses to practice on, they do not represent the same anatomy as future patients and anesthetized animals do not respond to medical treatments in the same way live humans or simulators do. In addition, there are a limited number of times that procedures can be performed on animals, whereas simulators allow for exercises to be repeated until the trainees are fully proficient.
The University of Michigan Medical School has a reputation for innovation and academic excellence. I urge you to be among the "leaders and best" in embracing humane alternatives for Survival Flight training as well.
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