Using animals for the training of physicians and surgeons

It is argued that cultural attitudes of a speciesist nature are background to the current practice of animal use in teaching medical students and residents. The scope of this activity is estimated, and educational theory is enlisted to suggest that many assumptions about the effectiveness of the practice are not valid. An assessment of one course used for ob-gyn training is presented. Since it is clear that animal suffering should be avoided when possible, the case is made that alternatives to animals may be used to replace animal use in much of current medical education. Medical educators should routinely question and offer adequate justification for any use of animals in medical education.
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