Hello…I just wanted to familiarize myself with a topic that may be a potential interview question, so that I can be prepared to answer with a confident response. How much animal experimentation should I expect to see or participate in while I am at Medical School (should I get in, hopefully…)

thank you.


Not much, if any. We had the usual human anatomy and we had various cadaver labs with human bodies, but as medical students, we never did procedures on live animals. Some residency programs use animal labs for training, but I felt like most of them allowed you some kind of alternative if you objected.

No vivisection here in three years.

The only two animal part uses we saw were:

  • disection of a porcine heart, which is similar in size and anatomy to the human heart

  • use of pigs legs to practice suturing.

    Hope this helps.


Thank you! That is good to hear. In the late 90’s when I was in undergrad, I took a Physiology course and we had to cut open a rat, while it was still alive, to perform an experiment on its heart rate with injections of epinephrine and nor-epinephrine. In addition, we did tests on severed frog legs to study muscle tensile strength while the tissue was still viable. I have a friend that is a 1st year Med student and she is unabashedly against animal testing and is a vegan. We have had many discussions on the use of animals for learning purposes. As an admirer of Dr. Jane Goodall (I have a BFA in Anthropology) and her campaign for the humane treatment of Chimpanzees, I am glad to hear that I will not be exposed to this as much as I originally anticipated. This subject was actually one of the deciding factors for my pursuit of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Now that I know that I will not have to participate in this, if I so choose puts me at a greater ease. Thank you so much for your replies!