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Mayo Clinic ends use of live pigs in medical school training

UPDATE: In a response, Mayo Clinic said:

“We believe there is merit in minimizing the use of animals where proven, highly effective alternatives are found; and we have pioneered many innovative approaches to do so. Emergency medicine training at Mayo Clinic, for example, no longer requires the use of pigs. These decisions are always based on what is in the best interest of our patients and trainees, and we will continue to assess our curriculum so that tomorrow’s doctors can provide the safest, highest quality care to patients everywhere.”



ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Mayo Clinic is no longer using live animals to train its medical students, according to a nonprofit group that petitioned the school to end the practice earlier this year.

According to a news release from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, The Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine is ceasing its use of animals in its emergency medicine residency program. The group filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture over that practice in February.

After KTTC initially reported the complaint, a Mayo Clinic spokesperson confirmed students train on live pigs to learn “essential techniques…that cannot be effectively taught in a simulation center.”

Mayo Clinic is working to supply the NewsCenter with an updated statement.

The director of the nonprofit congratulated Mayo Clinic.

“It was the right move for Mayo Clinic to modernize its curriculum,” said John Pippin, MD.

According to the group, 96 percent of emergency medicine residency programs in the U.S. and Canada do not use live animal in training.


Jacob Murphey

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