FOAMFree Open Access Meducation – Medical education for anyone, anywhere, anytime. This page is dedicated to collating the resources that healthcare professionals and students can access to take part in the FOAM movement.

The term FOAM was coined in June 2012 in a pub in Dublin, over a pint of Guinness during ICEM 2012 [watch the Dublin video].

FOAM is a collection of resources, a community and an ethos. The FOAM community spontaneously emerged from the collection of constantly evolving, collaborative and interactive open access medical education resources being distributed on the web with one objective — to make the world a better place. FOAM is independent of platform or media — it includes blogs, podcasts, tweets, online videos, text documents, photographs, Facebook groups, and a whole lot more.

FOAM should not be seen as a teaching philosophy or strategy, but rather as a globally accessible crowd-sourced educational adjunct providing inline (contextual) and offline (asynchronous) content to augment traditional educational principles. FOAM is the concept, #FOAMed is the hashtag


If you want to know how we practiced medicine 5 years ago, read a textbook. If you want to know how we practiced medicine 2 years ago, read a journal. If you want to know how we practice medicine now, go to a (good) conference. If you want to know how we will practice medicine in the future, listen in the hallways and use FOAM.

— from International EM Education Efforts & E-Learning by Joe Lex 2012

We review emergency medicine and critical care (EMCC) FOAM weekly in The LITFL Review. Anyone who reads it and follows the links will agree that EMCC FOAM resources are sophisticated, cutting edge learning resources that enable clinicians and students to update their knowledge and improve their understanding in a fun, motivating and time efficient way. It is all free, and can be accessed by anyone, at anytime, anywhere. We believe that together with asynchronous learning and the flipped classroom, FOAM is part of the future of medical education and lifelong learning.

In March 2013 the emergency medicine and critical care FOAM movement crystallised in a unique conference called SMACC (Social Media and Critical Care). This was followed a year later by an even more successful event held on the Gold Coast, smaccGOLD, before over 2,000 people assembled in 2015 for SMACC Chicago. Since then the conference has gone from strength to strength — with smaccDUB in Dublin (2016) and dasSMACC in Berlin (2017) — and become a community in its own right. The next SMACC will be in 2019, when it will return to its origins in Sydney, Australia. Subscribe to the SMACC Podcast on iTunes.

What is FOAM?

Slides, links and audio only version available at ‘Why FOAM? Facts, Fallacies and Foibles‘.

Support and join the FOAM party

What the Journals and Media say…

FOAMed Hashtags on Twitter

  • #FOAMed (FOAM)
  • #FOAMcc (critical care)
  • There are lots of others: #FOAMtox (for toxicology), #FOAN (for nursing), #FOAMped (for paediatrics), #FOAM4GP (for general practice), #FOAMim (for internal medicine)

FOAMed Languages

FOAM commentary from across the web Lots are people are talking about FOAM and #FOAMed. Here is what some of them are saying:

Bill Hinckley (president of AMPA – Air Medical Physician Association) on why he thinks everyone should get #FOAMed:

A discussion of FOAM by the team at ACILCI (in Turkish!):


Search for FOAM using this customised Google search tool.


Why would anyone want to make FOAM?

Consider these three questions:

Q1. Have you ever spent untold hours preparing a talk that was attended by 8 people — of which a few were cognitively incapacitated by a recent night shift and the rest by post-prandial stupor? (That’s right the lowest level of expertise is not unconscious incompetence, it’s plain old unconscious!)

Q2. Did you go into medicine to help others?

Q3. Do you want a quick, easy way to establish an international reputation as an effective clinical educator?

Many of us interested in clinical education would say ‘hell yes!’ to all of these questions. That’s why it makes perfect sense for us to record videos of our presentations, turn the research we’ve done and experiences we’ve had into a blogposts, and record our discussions as podcasts. Then share them with all the world.

LITFL talks about FOAM

Mike Cadogan talks about FOAM at the International Conference of Emergency Medicine 2012 in Dublin here:

Chris Nickson talks about FOAM at the Bedside Critical Care Conference 2012 in the Whitsunday Islands here:

Chris Nickson’s 400 second long guide to handling information overload in an age of FOAM: “Dr INFOlove: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The FOAM” (a PK SMACC-talk):

#FOAMed: More Than Just Froth? @docib at #AGN2016



Free Open Access Medical education

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

Teacher Recruitment Manager at Medmastery. I completed my medical degree at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and worked as a pediatric resident physician before moving into medical course development. I received the Excellence in Public Health Award and have developed multiple training courses and presentations for medical students.


    • Hi Andrew…so long ago now. Trying to find the original document, but basically just using Windings 1, 2, 3 to spell FOAM…along top and sides
      I just chose random versions of each of the letterings
      Also some Greek letters
      As i recall the central four letters were GMEP as I was building a Global Medical Education project at the time…

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