J Vet Med Educ 2012 ;39(2):160-8
University of Michigam Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
Research institutions are required by federal law and national standards to ensure that individuals involved in animal research are appropriately trained in techniques and procedures used on animals. Meeting these requirements necessitates the support of institutional authorities; policies for the documentation and enforcement of training; resources to support and provide training programs; and high-quality, effective educational material. Because of their expertise, laboratory-animal veterinarians play an essential role in the design, implementation, and provision of educational programs for faculty, staff, and students in biomedical research. At large research institutions, provision of a training program for animal care and use personnel can be challenging because of the animal-research enterprise's size and scope. At the University of Michigan (UM), approximately 3,500 individuals have direct contact with animals used in research. We describe a comprehensive educational program for animal care and use personnel designed and provided by laboratory-animal veterinarians at UM and discuss the challenges associated with its implementation.