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Animal testing opinions?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Bath&BodyWorks, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. Bath&BodyWorks

    Bath&BodyWorks New Member

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    Hi all

    Is it appropriate to express to the interviewer that I am against killing animals for scientific experiments? Afterall, animal testing is the basis of biomedical resesarch. So would this be an outrageous comment to make during a med school interview, something that is equivalent of saying "I don't want to help people!"

    Thanks
     
  2. jebus

    jebus Membership Revoked
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    Why would you bring it up? If you don't have to comment on it then don't comment on it. Superfluous comments are silly.
     
  3. nena

    nena Member
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    if you find it necessary to bring it up, don't use the word "killing" b/c its not killing.
     
  4. jeffsleepy

    jeffsleepy Senior Member
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    :confused: Why is it not "killing"? They used to be living and now they are dead.
     
  5. EctopicFetus

    EctopicFetus Keeping it funky enough
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    Oh my GOD!! Are you trying to ruin yourself? Here is a general rule for the rest of your life. Do not talk about things that are controversial when you are trying to get a job? What if the guy who you tell this to has an animal lab? Believe me when I tell you that ANYTHING you say will only upset this person and that means the ole boot from that place. I would avoid these types of things.

    Obviously in the medical field we deal with these sensitive issues much more so than lawyers (lets say) but unless asked I would NOT talk about these things as nothing good can come out of it IMO. You are playing with your future.
     
  6. ms1finally

    ms1finally Senior Member
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    I wouldn't bring it up...at all. Med schools are always worried about PETA activists breaking in and doing stuff. It's happened at a number of places. Although saying that you are against "killing" animals for the purposes of scientific research does not necessarily make you a PETA activisit, many interviewers might misinterpret your statements. If you want to go to medical school, keep quiet about this on your interview. You can work on making a difference once you are there.

    On another note, somewhere on SDN there was a post about which schools don't have animal research or don't do something with animals. You should search and find it - might help you make some decisions.
     
  7. TRuss

    TRuss Nada Finger
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    Technically eating meat would be killing too, I think that when one states that it is not killing; they are instead referring to the intent, which is probably not to kill.

    But to repeat what was said, try not to voice political opinions if not explicitly asked for them. make those opinions after you have the kind of authority to influence =)
     
  8. jebus

    jebus Membership Revoked
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    In the lab we always preferred to call it sacrificing. Even our notes all said "sac'd P23 mouse - 07 July 2004", etc. Killing sounds so arbitrary, while in reality you only use animals when you absolutely need to. You don't just kill mice one day and hold on to the tissue for future experiments. You plan everything (even though your planning becomes very rote very quickly). At least, this what we did in the 2 Neuroscience labs I worked in.
     
  9. Rendar5

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    I still don't know how we can get drugs w/o sacrificing animals for research. The only other way is to commit crimes against humanity, so the only thing I can see to do is simply not use drugs since use of every drug we've used in the past 100 years required animal sacrifice. Which personally is a lot more intelligent-sounding of an anti-animal-research-stance than saying we can get these drugs if we just take more time to develop them.

    (there is a lot of data that only animal testing can show, and that is all prior to testing on humans, teratogenecity, mutagenecity, LD50, etc.).
     
  10. Quazimodo

    Quazimodo QuasiMedStudent
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    My rule is let the interviewer guide the interview until its your time to ask the questions, then its open court - No two interviewers ever follow the same line, and they always tend to go with the flow of conversation about the breeze, or my hideous humpback. Of course, if they don't mention it, it's hard to bring it up without hijacking control of the interview, and that doesn't translate into points for you.

    If they ask you any open ended ethical questions, or such, that might allow you to speak freely, by all means, talk about it, it might open a interesting line of questioning. But don't necessarily expect your interviewer to share your view, and do expect to be challenged.

    Once its your turn to ask questions, you can express your feelings as a way to ask questions of the interviewer, which again might lead to interesting conversation. Good luck, and long live animal lovers!
     
  11. StevenRF

    StevenRF Senior Member
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    Make sure you wear a tie that says P.E.T.A on it and give him some brochures on your cause. :laugh: Whatever you do, don't voice your opinion on this. The odds of the interviewer agreeing with you is almost zero. Every doc that I know where I work uses rats or monkeys for chemical testing or product implanation. It's standard FDA procedure.

    As much as you don't like euthanising animals for scientific research, it's not going to go away until tissue engineers can clone any part of a human or animal on demand. Simple as that. Medical research would be non existant without it. If you look at the process, millions of potential compounds are basically weeded out by injecting them into yeast, rats, monkeys, etc to screen for the ones that are toxic. Targeted molecules based the structure of chemical accepters are reducing this process emensly thanks to computational biology for structures, but at the end of the day you still got to stick it in something and see what it screws with.
     
  12. BaylorGuy

    BaylorGuy Enter witty comment here
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    If you do not have reasons as to why you feel this, don't say it.If you can give good, accurate, up-to-date reasons about why you feel this way, I dont think it should matter.

    But then again, I've only have this question asked when i was interviewing for research jobs...never has it been asked for a med school interview.
     
  13. angietron3000

    angietron3000 *black magic soul power*
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  14. BerkeleyMD

    BerkeleyMD Senior Member
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    I think the OP was maybe referring to a situation in which the interviewer brings up the issue (kinda far fetched seeing as how research is based on the use of animals, but anyways). In that case, I'd say that many ethical implications must be taken into consideration when sacraficing animals for research and educational purposes. It's not appropriate to say that you are for or against it, because as a med school student you don't have a choice. Its like telling your interviewer that dead people gross you out and thats a reason why you are against the use of cadavers. Its a lose-lose situation.
     
  15. Bath&BodyWorks

    Bath&BodyWorks New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the replies! Actually to clarify the situation...I was recently asked during an interview about a life experience through which i demonstrated extreme honesty, and as a response I told the truth, which was the incident when my research advisor asked me to sacrifice mice (I do in vivo mice research that don't involve this) and I didn't want to. Not sure if it was the correct response, but it was the only thing that i could think of at the time. Will I be rejected because of this? :scared:
     
  16. jebus

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    I don't see a problem with THAT. I used to work with a woman who had no problem working on animal tissue but refused to be in the room with live (or about to die/dying) animals. Everyone was fine with it. We would sac our mice while she was at lunch or just go to a different room. If I understand correctly, you will not sacrifice animals but 'tolerate' others doing so? As long as you articulated your motivation appropriately you shouldn't have a problem.
    Besides, no one likes to sacrifice animals. It sucks to kill things.
     
  17. mrcdsbenz2000

    mrcdsbenz2000 Member
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    Don't listen to this guy. I am actually applying to MSTPs and as an undergrad did a philosophical study on the moral basis of animal research. I was recently asked about this at an interview by a very prestigious neuroscience professor (uses lots of animals). We discussed our opinions, and actually it turned out to be the majority of my interview. The important thing is to go deeper and have a thorough understanding of the issue though (as opposed to- i feel queesy killing mice). I think a thorough understanding shows that you have the intellectual power to actually think about such interesting issues as well as highlights your integrity. At the end of my interview, we found that we had differing opinions on the subject, but he commended me for obtaining a true education as opposed to going through the motions. It is actually a very difficult philosophical question in some cases...
    good luck
     
  18. Pretty POHA

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    Do you have a well-thought out alterior option for animal testing? That's something you need to think about before taking a stance as to whether it's right or not... because right or wrong, if it's what is necessary to further our medical knowledge & healing, and you don't have a solid/ feasible alternative, then you may be shooting yourself in the foot with this opinion...
     
  19. prana_md

    prana_md springing
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    phew! I just checked out that list ... a ton of medical schools don't use live animals in teaching. I lived barking distance from where the UC Davis vet school kept their "experimental" dogs ... never was quite sure what they did with them, but it felt icky.
     
  20. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    At a lot of the research oriented schools virtually any clinician or faculty interviewer you meet will have been involved in some form of animal research, and might have some issues with anti-animal testing philosophy. And virtually every useful medicine known to man was derived from or tested on animals, most of whom did not survive the ordeal. (Most cosmetics too, for that matter). I think you need to be a bit more sensitive to the fact that you are going into an industry where the past, present and future is built on such experimentation. Thus avoid the issue at all costs in an interview because the odds of an interviewer identifying with or appreciating your viewpoint are stacked against you.
     
  21. velo

    velo bottom of the food chain
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    It depends on how badly you want your interviewer to know that you're an idiot.

    I guess you could segue into it by saying, "I don't believe we should develop any new drugs or advance our understanding of disease, so it only makes sense that I don't support animal research"
     
  22. Will Ferrell

    Will Ferrell Senior Member
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    don't bring it up. there's a good chance the interviewer will be conservative.
     
  23. Jon Davis

    Jon Davis I killed the bank.
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    Troll. What kind of stupid ass question is this to post?
     
  24. chris03333

    chris03333 Veterinarian
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    umm just because they do not use animals to teach the curriculum, does not mean they do not have active biomedical research. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a medical school that does not.
     
  25. jbing

    jbing Senior Member
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    are animals even allowed to take the mcat?
     
  26. prana_md

    prana_md springing
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    Thanks, I knew that. But medical schools used to use live animals a lot more in their curriculum. Doctors from a generation ago talk about anesthetizing dogs and dissecting them (This was in the news ... damn, can't find the story.)

    As someone else said before, one can express one's discomfort about killing animals -- I'm probably not cut out (ew, bad pun) for biomed research -- without being a raving lunatic. I agree that animal research is necessary, it's just not for me. Everyone has their limits ... mine happens to be beheading rats.
     
  27. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I'm pretty sure there were rats at the site where I took the test -- didn't realize they were actually taking the test though. :)
     
  28. daviddamoore

    daviddamoore UK fool
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    I had the "how do you feel about animal experimentation" question come up at Albany. I had to tell them that this is actually one of the hardest ethical questions for myself. Essentially I said that animal testing for cosmetics is just messed up (especially as I prefer my wife au naturel!), but we are going to have to live with medical testing. I, for one, am not going to take an untested drug no matter how fluffy the damn rabbit is! However, raising animal testing as an issue does help in focussing our minds on what medicines are essential vs. one that are for lifestyle. I am sure even the hardest line animal advocates would not balk at sacrificing many thousands of animals in order to produce an effective, safe malaria vaccine. But when it comes to determining a lethal dose of viagra.....?
     
  29. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Well, if it were up to the mice, I suspect this would be the experiment they would sign up for over the others...
     
  30. velo

    velo bottom of the food chain
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    The toxic effects of any potential therapuetic drug need to be accurately documented and the standards need to be the same no matter what the potential application. Viagra is, at heart, a vasoactive drug. I, for one, would want to be very sure about its therapuetic index before doing any human testing or marketing.
     
  31. Chinorean

    Chinorean Senior Member
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    It's the cirrrrrrcle of liiiiiiiife...

    I took a course on the history of physiology, it turns out much of what we know about the circulatory and nervous system comes from really, really cruel experiments done on cats and dogs. For example--severing a leg except for one vein to see if a poison will still spread to the rest of the body, severing different parts of the spinal cord to see what region correlates to different part of the body, etc. etc. You can bet there was no anesthesia, either.

    But the thing is--back then, people were so off in their understanding of human anatomy that if they hadn't done these experiments, we might never know the rudimentary workings of our bodies. What if we prevent ourselves from making equally important findings in the future?

    Ok this is lame :rolleyes: , but remember that moment in that teen flick, Drive Me Crazy...and the activist ex-girlfriend is mad at the boy because he won't join her anti-animal testing stance, and then Melissa Joan Hart points out that his mom died of cancer? Probably the most profound moment in the movie.
     
  32. BaylorGuy

    BaylorGuy Enter witty comment here
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    You think the experiments that found out the physiology of the circulatory and nervous systems are cruel?? Think about how they test various pain medications.....


    Think about it.

    Nothing like a good LD50 set
     
  33. doctoresse

    doctoresse Member
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    I wouldn't mention it unless asked, you may open a can of worm. It is a bit contradictory to say that you are against animal sacrificing when, as a doctor, virtually "all" drugs you will prescribe and use to alleviate the symptoms of your patients come from animal sacrificing. Unless you practice acupuncture and other "natural" ways of healing, there is no way around using animals for the greater good of humanity. Of course if asked, be honest and be prepare to defend your opinions. I hope you don't eat meat either.:)
     
  34. Sicilian

    Sicilian Senior Member
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    But ironically, conservatives are opposed to stem-cell research and abortion? I dun get it. Or else it must be that they consider humans superior to animals, as per Genesis.
     
  35. CTSballer11

    CTSballer11 Senior Member
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    IF you are asked, lie lie lie. You will look like an idiot if you do not.
     

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