ECU Criticized For Ferret Use In Medical Training

10:35 AM, Nov 15, 2011   |    comments
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Greenville, NC -- A nonprofit physicians' group is criticizing East Carolina University for using ferrets to train pediatric residents at the medical school on how to insert a breathing tube.

The Daily Reflector of Greenville reported the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says it's not necessary to use ferrets. The Washington, D.C.-based group says students at the Brody School of Medicine could use simulators, which are mannequin-like medical devices.

East Carolina's Dr. James Cummings says the ferrets are unconscious during the procedure. He says a research committee that oversees Brody's use of animals agrees that ferrets are a superior training method.

A survey conducted by the physicians' committee shows only 10 of 185 pediatric residency programs in the country use animals for the training. Brody is the only one in North Carolina.


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