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Developments in the Transition From Animal Use to Simulation-Based Biomedical Education

Pawlowski, John B., MD, PhD; Feinstein, David M., MD; Gala, Shalin G., BA

doi: 10.1097/SIH.0000000000000310
Concepts and Commentary

Summary Statement There has been a significant shift from the use of animals in biomedical training exercises toward simulation-based education methods. The transition has been driven by technological advances, empirical evidence of improved student outcomes, cost-effectiveness, and a growing concern for the welfare of animals. These factors have spurred policy changes worldwide in how medical and science curricula are delivered. We detail how some of these policy changes evolved and comment on the future direction of simulation-based education and its implications for healthcare providers, instructors, and the general public.

From the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine (J.B.P., D.M.F.), Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA; and Laboratory Investigations Department (S.G.G.), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Norfolk, VA.

Reprints: Shalin G. Gala, BA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Laboratory Investigations Department, 501 Front St, Norfolk, VA 23510 (e-mail:

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2018 Society for Simulation in Healthcare