Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Medical schools swap pigs for plastic

Doctors used to try out their surgical skills on animals before being allowed to work on patients. Now just a handful of US medical schools still have animal labs. Meredith Wadman asks if they've lost a vital tool.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


Related links

Related links

Related links in Nature Research

Related external links

Bruce Jarrell's website

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Wadman, M. Medical schools swap pigs for plastic. Nature 453, 140–141 (2008).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing