A nonprofit group of doctors files complaint against Wake Forest School of Medicine regarding its use live animals for training of its resident doctors | Education

A nonprofit group of doctors files complaint against Wake Forest School of Medicine regarding its use live animals for training of its resident doctors | Education

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Surgery skills can be taught using a variety of human-based methods, such as human-patient simulators, laparoscopic simulators, virtual reality simulators, human cadavers, perfused cadavers, and partial task trainers, the committee said.

Wake Forest has a state-of-the-art facility — the Center for Experiential and Applied Learning — that offers high-fidelity patient manikins, virtual reality trainers and procedural task trainers that could replace the use of animals in the general surgery residency, the Physicians Committee said.

Compared to the human body, pigs have smaller torsos, lighter limbs and thicker skin, the Physicians Committee said. There are also differences in the anatomy of the head and neck, internal organs, rib cage, blood vessels and the airway.

“Instead of animals, human-based medical simulators and human cadavers are widely used for medical training,” the physicians committee said. “Simulators accurately replicate human anatomy and physiology and can include layers of lifelike skin, fat, and muscle.”

Wake Forest officials have been accused of mistreating animals before the Physicians Committee’s complaint.

In February, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wanted Wake Forest University officials to investigate a medical school professor’s involvement in a research project that denied monkeys food and water and forced them to endure hours of loud sounds and strobe lights.

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Cindy Rose

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