Focused FOAMed – The Learners Lens

Background: This is a guest post from two of our friends all the way in Italy.  They have actually sent several revisions of this post as a way to help learners focus on different aspects of FOAMed.  One of the major caveats the authors mentioned is that FOAM covers most of the coolest parts of EM, but there are other topics that are important as well.  The authors advocate for a compilation of resources into a simple syndication reader (i.e. Feedly) and podcast application (i.e. Downcast, Overcast, etc).  When searching for topics consider using FOAM search. Finally, study and focus on FOAM topics that you like and need:

  1. Like = your passions, what you’re best at
  2. Need = what you’re worst at or scared of

The most important aspect of organizing FOAMed is, the resources compilation, which we can call focused FOAM (F_FOAM).
Below is an organized resource compilation made of a list of FOAM-resources grouped in mind maps, according to Buzan’ method (a method I also highly recommend for study, projects, notes etc.). The resources have been evaluated according to their Social Media Index.


  4. ECG
  9. EBM



EM FUNDAMENTALS video podcast notes
lifeinthefastlane (LIFTL) Almost all about EM, from ECG to Toxicology
EMCrit X X Among EM most followed blogs, offering also sections on Pulmonary and Critical Care
Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (ALiEM) All around EBM, development programs, flashcards on EM topics (tip:  automatic download via Apps, Evernote and Dropbox)
EM Cases X X Podcasts on EM cases with key-point written charts, rapid view videos & quizzes (tip: automatic download via Apps, Evernote and Dropbox), POCUS cases, Cases where EM policy meets practice, Journal Jam on debated papers
Rebel EM X Podcast on new EM papers (Cast), and clinical reviews on different topics with one-page summary chart (Reviews); tips for presentation (Prez) Almost daily updates on many medical conditions from the basics to cutting edge
 St. Emlyn’s X X Blog & podcast on 4 pillars: clinical excellence (12 sections from airway & trauma to methodology), EBM (reflections on new papers), well-being, (stay curious & healthy) and EM philosophy (why we act as we do).
Free ebooks on wellbeing, prehospital care, and risk & probability
 Intensive Care Network X X Collection of podcasts, vodcasts and slides including SMACC catalogued by topics or specialty
CanadiEM X Mo-Fri different EM aspects (Concepts, Opinions, Throwbacks, National), also for non-medical professionals, flashcards, podcast CRACKCast covers Rosen’s EM book
EM Updates Rarely updated but provides checklists and flowchart on many medical conditions
CoreEM X X Comprehensive EM site offering Core Competence, podcast, video procedures, journal reviews, and blog
EM Basic X Blog and regular podcast on basic EM (how to document, how to report a case etc.) The “show notes in one master file” is a complete summary of topics
ER Cast X Monthly podcasts, gives updates usually on general/basic topics
EM in 5′ Essential EM in 5 min videos with resources
First10EM X EBM reflective reviews & videos; Resus, Ortho, procedure videos, handouts on EBM
EM:RAP x x It’s not free (monthly content free trial), provides EM and CC monthly audio series, short videos on procedures, sutures, ECG etc; monthly podcast; monthly EMA (EM Abstract summary); C3 core content of ED patient approach; handouts & question sets

The core of Emergency medicine. Each EM blog covers Critical Care; the following are sources built on Critical Care as the main the pillar.

CRITICAL CARE/RESUS video podcast notes
EMCrit X X The EmCrit RACC is a reference delve into CC; PulmCrit, ISepsis, and Tox & Hound also cover CC.
Intensive Care Network X Collection of podcasts including SMACC, with a focus on CC, from prehospital to ICU X Entirely devoted to Resuscitation, from literature to methodology, with reflections on clinical cases
First10EM X Scenarios & videos to manage instantly, from airway management to less covered areas such as Ob-Gyn, Ophthalmology etc. X Blog on CC with videos from international conferences
Resus X Blogs, lectures and procedural videos on resuscitation and airway management, including kids X X Blogs, lectures with handouts on airway management, ECMO, Cardiology, Tox, and US

Scary movies in EM.  How to increase your confidence on airway management and prepare yourself – not only your manual skills, but also your mind.

AIRWAY video podcast notes Only onsite courses X NZ team devoted to airway management. You can find a blog, courses with tutorial videos, literature, and a research section
LIFTL Own the Airway X Collection of FOAM tutorials and videos on emergency airway management
EMCrit X X Most posts and podcast dive into the world of EM airway management, both procedures and mindset

4. ECG
EM physicians should master ECG.  The suggested sources will help you avoid ECG pitfalls where even experienced cardiologist may fail.

ECG video podcast notes Myriads of ECG cases with commentaries and discussion
Dr. Smith’s ECG Blog X ECG cases (ACS, arrhythmias, PM), lectures from international conferences, rules + equations (e.g.: STEMI vs early repolarization)
ECG Weekly X X Weekly 15min Vodcast with Amal Mattu (non-free), ECG commented cases with take home messages. Some videos on youTube or Vimeo

Want to increase your knowledge on emergency ultrasound? You can find several podcasts & videos that help you fill the gap.

EMERGENCY ULTRASOUND video podcast notes
ultrasoundpodcast X X Bimonthly comprehensive and cutting-edge podcast with US videos and explanations
ultrasoundoftheweek X X Weekly podcast with video cases and Q & A’s
Sonospot X X US cases, tips & tricks, and tutorials. Unfortunately, non-updated since 2014
5 minute Sono X X 5 min videos on US in EM, procedures etc; weekly podcast, reference values sheet. Ideal for quick bedside reference search X X Dedicated to Mount Sinai residents; POCUS tutorials from basic to advanced US; research sections
WesternSONO X X From Western University of Ontario, Cases of the Week and tutorials from the basics to advanced X Cases, videos and tips on EM POCUS

field and can make the difference; you can see procedures indefinitely, appraise the method on learning (mental rehearsal).

PROCEDURES video podcast notes X Videos & links to ACEP Courses X US-guided procedures mainly focused on blocks
Laceration Repair X Videos and pearls on acute wound care (eg.: Three things you didn’t know about gluing skin)
LITFL Procedures X A section of LIFTL entirely dedicated to procedures, with explanatory texts and videos (most external links)

Rarely covered in the FOAM world, Toxicology is a fascinating field of EM, and few blogs focus on this niche and delve into secrets, pearls & pitfalls.

PHARMA/TOXICOLOGY video podcast notes X Vast Tox/Alcohol graded lit review; links to Tox resources & podcasts
ToxNow X Bimonthly podcast on case reports on Toxicology; links to Tox resources
Chicago Toxcast X Monthly podcast about everything that is ‘Tox-worthy’, unfortunately on hiatus now X X Pills (1-7min) Critical Care Pharmacy podcasts, downloadable visual ABX guide
ALiEM Capsules Pharmacology curriculum; 1-hour modules with cases and final quiz session X X Collection of FOAMed resources on Toxicology

This is a big topic, rarely covered in the most resources, yet essential for all EPs dealing with children (with or without a fellowship in PEM).

PEDIATRIC EM video podcast notes
Don’t Forget the Bubbles X Comprehensive paediatric EM; sections on Radiology, paper reviews, clinical topics, DFTB conference talks
PEM Blog X X Monthly podcast & videos on kids EM topics and procedures X Weekly post, sections on CC, procedures w/ videos,
The PEM Network The Network for rigorous multi-institutional research on acutely sick children X Unfortunately, not updated since 2014
Rolobotrambles X PEM methodology (e.g.:POPS Chart), clinical videos
PEM Play Book X Paediatric EM podcasts. Lectures slides updated to 2016
Sketchy EBM X Kids EM, with a special focus on EBM made simple by comics

Additional Site to Consider: Paediatric FOAMed [Link is HERE]

Virtually every EM blog reviews EM papers. In this section, we focused on EM sites specifically devoted to EBM.

EBM video podcast notes
lifeinthefastlane Weekly review of global FOAM
Rebel EM X Regular posts and podcasts on EM literature and topics
St Emlyn’s X EBM is one of the four pillars of St Emlyn’s blog; Junior Club section, and papers commented throughout all other 11 clinical sections
The Skeptic’s Guide to EM X The BEEM. Weekly review of practice changing articles; quality checklist for RCTs and observational studies
EM Lit of Note At least 6 articles commented per month revealing weaknesses and strengths of published results, to empower your critical thinking of EM lit
The Bottom Line X  Compendium of EM and Intensive Care papers, summarised and criticised. The Bottom Line wraps up key points LR for Dx & NNT for Tx
EMNerd Literature discussion & comments with a focus on clinical reasoning and methodology Vast EBM literature to support Dx and Tx
FOAMcast X  Synoptic tables from the recent literature X Short videos on EBM methodology

The mission of all generalist EM blogs (see the first part) is education where you can find immense material to improve your knowledge and/or skills. Here we report FOAM resources specifically dedicated to MedEd not only providing material to learn but also focusing on how to teach emergency care, together with some focused educational tracks offered by the main generalist FOAM resources.

EDUCATION video podcast notes
Academic Life in Emergency Medicine X Blog on teaching, research, ideas, cases
 St. Emlyn’s X The educational pillar, for both learning & teaching
LITFL Clinical Education Resources X Education for residents (CR Incubator), researchers (SAEM RLS podcast), faculty Incubator (1-year education program), new IDEAs for education, MEdIC Series (difficult case discussion with final pearls). Weekly podcast
EM Cases X X 10min videos library Online community sharing high-quality free educational resources X Undergraduate EM Medical Education. Monthly post
Medutopia X 360˚ EM teaching to improve as educator and as person. Monthly podcast

The poet Juvenales wrote 1900 years ago ‘Mens sana in corpore sano.’ This means that to be a good doctor you should also care for yourself. Many EM blogs now have a devoted section on EM mindset, smart productivity, and wellness.

MINDSET & WELLNESS video podcast notes
ALiEM X How I work smarter, How I stay healthy, How I Promote Wellness
St Emlyn’s X X ED mindset is one of the four pillars of St Emlyn’s world
EMDocs X Special section devoted to EM mindset
Rolobotrambles EM mindset in the kids’ world X A podcast that covers also human aspects of physicians

Guest Post By:

Andrea Duca, MD
Attending Emergency Physician, Centro EAS – ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo, Italy
Twitter: @andreaduca00
Roberto Cosentini, MD
Centro EAS Director – ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII – Bergamo, Italy
Twitter: @rob_cosentini


  1. Brent Thoma et al. Five strategies to effectively use online resources in emergency medicine. Ann Emerg Med, 2014 vol. 64,pp. 392-395.
  2. Brent Thoma, Nikita Joshi, N. Seth Trueger, Teresa M. Chan and Michelle Lin. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 2014; 64(4): 392 – 395)
  3. Christopher P Nickson Michael D Cadogan. Free Open Access Medical education (FOAM) for the emergency physician. Emerg Med Australasia 2014 26; Pages 76-83
  4. Peter Cameron et al. CJEM Debate Series: #SocialMedia. CJEM 2017, 19:471-474
  5. Scott KR et al. Integration of Social Media in Emergency Medicine Residency Curriculum. Ann Emerg Med. 2014 Jun 21
  6. Free Open Access Meducation (FOAM): the rise of emergency medicine and critical care blogs and podcasts (2002–2013). Emerg Med J 2014 Oct;31:e76-7.http://doi:10.1136/emermed-2013-203502
  7. Don’t Call It Social Media: FOAM and the Future of Medical Education. Emergency Medicine News Feb 2013 doi: http://10.1097/01.EEM.0000427050.81739.a1

For More Thoughts on this Topic Checkout:

  1. Mike Cadogan on LIFTL.
  2. Salim Rezaie on Rebel EM.
  3. Chris Nickson at Life in the Fastlane: FOAM
  4. EM Case Summary. With Rob Rogers, Ken Milne & Brent Thoma, Prepared by Claire Heslop, 2014
  5. Chris Nickson at Life in the Fastlane: From Hippocrates to Osler to FOAM 
  6. Scott Weingart at EMCrit: The Online Hierarchy of Needs
  7. Andy Neill at Emergency Medicine Ireland: Getting Started with FOAMed
  8. Simon Carley at St. Emlyn’s: How to Incorporate #FOAMed into #MedEd
  9. David Slessor at The Bottom Line: Keeping Up to Date with the Medical Literature
  10. Justin Morgenstern at First 10 in EM: Lecture handout: Social Media in Medicine (University of Toronto Anesthesia and Surgery Faculty Development Day)
  11. Andrew J. Tagg at Don’t Forget the Bubbles: The Sweet Bird of Truth
  12. Chris Nickson at Life in the Fastlane: 10 Tips for FOAM Beginners

Post Peer Reviewed By: Jenny Beck-Esmay, MD (Twitter: @jbeckesmay)

Cite this article as: Jenny Beck-Esmay, MD, "Focused FOAMed – The Learners Lens", REBEL EM blog, January 24, 2019. Available at:

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