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December 25, 1991

Use of Animals in Medical Education

Author Affiliations

Mt Sinai Hospital Philadelphia, Pa

Mt Sinai Hospital Philadelphia, Pa

JAMA. 1991;266(24):3422. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470240043018

To the Editor.  —The AMA Council's report on the "Use of Animals in Medical Education"1 reports on the opportunity for students to "develop expertise in a given technique" before "performing the procedure on a human being." Probably less than 5% of medical students will ever perform any of the procedures they practice on animals. Even those who do will not have the opportunity for years after they have left the laboratory.I challenge anyone to perform any mechanical procedure a single time and then profess to have developed any degree of expertise that they can then apply several years later.The statement is made that "the use of animals gives the student a direct understanding of how living systems work." Nothing could be farther from the truth. More can be learned about how living systems work from a 1-hour public television presentation than hours in a laboratory performing singular