UT Southwestern Confirms: Pigs Are OUT of OB/GYN Curriculum!

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3 min read

It’s a big win for pigs, physicians, and patients at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center! After we contacted the school alongside obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) physicians, UT Southwestern confirmed that it no longer mutilates live animals for invasive medical procedures in its OB/GYN residency training programs:

“Please note that living animal models are no longer utilized in OB/GYN residency training program simulation activities.”
—Christina Alvarado, J.D., Office of the Vice President for Legal Affairs, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Happy pigs playing in mud

UT Southwestern Was Due for a Change

When we initially contacted UT Southwestern in 2021 as part of our ongoing survey of animal use in OB/GYN residency programs, OB/GYN physician residents there were routinely mutilating live pigs in gruesome training exercises. Per records obtained by PETA, they recently performed invasive procedures on at least 13 live pigs.

The school publicly confirmed that these procedures included laparoscopic hysterectomies, retroperitoneal dissections, and tissue morcellations. After the training sessions, each victim was killed.

Pigs don’t have human anatomy—so training on them is pointless at best. For instance, pig uteruses have an entirely different structure from human uteruses. For physicians who need to make lifesaving decisions within seconds, learning their practice on anatomically correct models is absolutely critical. It’s not hard to imagine how mutilating pigs in these needless surgeries could prove fatal for human patients down the line.

Training Without Live Animals Is Good for Everyone

Animal-free methods for OB/GYN training are cost-effective, simulate real medical situations, and provide students with vital opportunities to repeat procedures until they’re proficient.

a person in scrubs to the left of a hospital bed, which has a rubber human simulator on it, legs spread.

That’s why dozens of OB/GYN physician residency training programs across the country—including at Rush University, Aurora Sinai Medical Center, and even the entire U.S. Department of Defense—use animal-free methods, such as computer simulations and high-fidelity human-patient simulators.

The pressure is mounting for institutions still using live animals to follow UT Southwestern’s lead by embracing superior, non-animal technology—or risk being left behind in the dark ages of medicine.

OHSU: Stop Using Live Pigs!

UT Southwestern is just the latest to do away with archaic OB/GYN pig labs. What’s keeping Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) from doing the same? We just sent a new letter to the school urging it to follow UT Southwestern’s lead by ending its use of live animals in OB/GYN physician residency training, which follows prior complaints.

We need your help demanding that OHSU end this cruelty. Please urge it to end its use of live animals in OB/GYN physician residency training immediately!

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