FOAM – Free 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.
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.
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?
- Nickson CP, Cadogan MD. Free Open Access Medical education (FOAM) for the emergency physician. Emerg Med Australas. 2014 Feb;26(1):76-83.
- Creating the FOAM network
- FOAM and the future of medical education [EM News PDF]
- Is FOAM just for Emergency Physicians?
Slides, links and audio only version available at ‘Why FOAM? Facts, Fallacies and Foibles‘.
Support and join the FOAM party
- As a supporter and advocate of #FOAMed you can demonstrate your allegiance to your followers by including the #FOAMed hashtag in your profile
- Find and Follow the #FOAMed advocates on Twitter
- Follow the #FOAMed conversation on Twitter
- Follow the #FOAMed Analytics with Symplur
- For EM/ ICU and other critical care folk, the #FOAMcc hashtag is now also being used on Twitter.
- They even get it in New Zealand!
What the Journals and Media say…
- Scott KR, Hsu CH, Johnson NJ, Mamtani M, Conlon LW, DeRoos FJ. Integration of Social Media in Emergency Medicine Residency Curriculum. Ann Emerg Med. 2014 Jun 21.
- Thoma B, Joshi N, Trueger S, Chan TM, Lin, M.
- Five Strategies to Effectively Use Online Resources in Emergency Medicine. Ann Emerg Med. 2014 Jun 21
- Free Open Access Meducation: hype of de toekomst? – The Post Online Feb 2014
- Cadogan M, Thoma B, Chan TM, Lim M. Free Open Access Meducation (FOAM): the rise of emergency medicine and critical care blogs and podcasts (2002–2013). Emerg Med J doi:10.1136/emermed-2013-203502
- Nickson C, Cadogan M. Free Open Access Medical education (FOAM) for the emergency physician. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 26: 76–83. doi: 10.1111/1742-6723.12191
- FOAM and the Era of Online Medical Education. American Academy of Emergency Medicine. October 01, 2013. [PDF]
- FOAM: the Internet, social media and medical education EMJ Supplement October 2013
- Social Media and Physician Learning – Annals of Emergency Medicine – November 2013
- FOAMed appeal is simple: Get more, pay nothing Faust, J. ACEP News Feb 2013 [PDF]
- Neill A, Cronin JJ, Brannigan D, O’Sullivan R, Cadogan M. The impact of social media on a major international emergency medicine conference Emerg Med J. 2014 May;31(5):401-4
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)
- Polish FOAM – Pora Na TeleSORa – Polish community blog and What is #FOAMed? (MERITUS)
- Turkish FOAM – What is FOAMed?
- Italian FOAM – The FOAM story (EMPills) and FOAM instructions (Malato Critico)
- Russian FOAM – History of FOAM (СКОРОВИК)
- Dutch FOAM – Netherlands #FOAMed … and the EMDutch blog
- Czech FOAM – Jan Štros from the Czech republic has a FOAMtastic ECG blog
- Mongolian FOAM – FOAMed Mongolia
- USask FOAM – FOAMed Canadian Collaborative
- Spanish FOAM – Spanish language critical care and Emergency Medicine blogs
FOAM commentary from across the web Lots are people are talking about FOAM and #FOAMed. Here is what some of them are saying:
- KevinMD — The flipped classroom could be the future of medicine
- Medscape — FOAM and the Era of Online Medical Education
- EM Ireland – FOAMed Resources
- Free Emergency Talks — International EM Education Efforts & E-Learning
- The Short Coat — FOAM Party! (The Future of Medical Education)
- EM Armamentarium – First week of FOAM
- Intensive Care Network — Podcast 31: Chris Nickson on Erectile Dysfunction and #FOAMed
- David Anderson — 21st Century Education (video of a lecture with a prehospital focus)
- e-LIME — Trends in Online Learning: #FOAMed
- StEmlyn’s — The #FOAMtastic 2012 top ten from St.Emlyn’s
- Curbside Consult — Disrupting Medical Education by Redefining “Social Media” (by Mike Cadogan)
- KI Docs – The Future direction of FOAM
- Bill Hinckley – Let’s Get #FOAMed!
- Adventure Medic: Bubbles in the Wilderness: All About FOAM
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