Readers of Emergency Medicine Australia may have noticed something a little different in recent issues.
First, there was a social media editorial titled ‘Dispatches from the FOAM Frontier‘ then today saw the publication of ‘smaccGOLD and the rise of the Synthetics‘. It is fair to say that these are unlike your usual editorials in peer-reviewed journals, or indeed, any other type of article in the medical literature!
The prologue to the first article explains it all:
No doubt, this section seems a strange one to find in a medical journal. We assure you that it is stranger than you think! Let us begin with a brief explanation.
By now you have hopefully either discovered FOAM (Free Open Access Med(ical ed)ucation) for yourself, or perhaps encountered a recent article on the subject in Emergency Medicine Australasia. FOAM is a relatively new movement of slightly odd collaborators sharing knowledge via blogs, podcasts and other social media with an unbridled passion and enthusiasm. What will it amount to? Only time will tell, but imagine that FOAM, or something quite like it, actually becomes the norm. Imagine that some seemingly ephemeral FOAM creations actually change the world. Imagine that our successors can’t even imagine what things were like before FOAM. Finally, imagine that we had a window in time that allowed us to read an emergency medicine journal of the future…
Great! You can do all of that. Now, strap yourselves in, because this ride’s about to get a little crazy…
The first article included dispatches from an Indiana Jones-esque astro-archeologist from the future, named Sienna Adjoin (clue, look for anagrams!). It also included correspondence from a medical practitioner on the Dixe Colony, a place with such astronomical rates of coronary artery disease that physicians there have been able to develop a more rational approach to chest pain work up than we ever could.
What about the second, just released, article?
Well, in addition to a Time Traveller’s account of the recent smaccGOLD conference (never, ever, trust a Time Traveller…) there is this:
‘The rise of the Synthetics’ recounts the development of STROKEbots in order to facilitate thrombolysis in the emergency department, and their eventual David Newman-Toker-inspired redemption. It highlights plenty of fantastic FOAM along the way.
My co-creators in producing this series of articles include LITFL’s wonderful wordsmith Michelle Johnston and amazing artist Tor Ercleve, both equally excellent emergency physicians. However, we also have a recruit from far off in the FOAM world, EMNerd’s Rory Spiegel. Rory has a peculiar two-pronged genius for critical appraisal of the medical literature and the creation of intricate parallel worlds.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the enthusiastic support of EMA’s Editor-in-Chief, Geoff Hughes…. Thanks Geoff!