Do Faculty in Southern Indian Medical Colleges Support Animal Use in Postgraduate Education More Than in Undergraduate Education?
Syed Ilyas Shehnaz, Jayadevan Sreedharan, Mohamed Arifulla1 and Kadayam Guruswami Gomathi
In India, animal experiments play an integral role in both undergraduate medical education (UGME) and postgraduate medical education (PGME) in the discipline of Pharmacology. Therefore, we aimed to compare the perceptions of pharmacology faculty members in southern India with regard to the use of animal experiments and alternatives in UGME and in PGME. We also determined the association between these perceptions and the socio-demographic characteristics of the participants. Pharmacology faculty members in 15 medical colleges located in southern India answered a 27-statement, 5-domain questionnaire with a total score of 108. The means of the total, domain and statement scores were analysed by the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. The mean total score obtained for faculty members (n = 52) was significantly higher (p < 0.001) for PGME (61.2/108) than that for UGME (51.9/108). Significant differences were observed in the mean total and in the domain scores for PGME when compared to UGME in all of the socio-demographic groups, except for male faculty members and those without an MD or doctoral degree. The mean individual statement scores also indicated that there is more support for animal use in PGME. Overall, it was apparent that pharmacology faculty members in southern Indian medical colleges support animal use in PGME more than in UGME. Increased awareness is required among faculty members concerning alternatives to animal experiments in medical education, especially in PGME.