The expansion of the FOAM world is a bit like blowing up a balloon. The early stages involved a lot of effort for a small increase in size, but as it gets bigger, the resistance is falling away and expansion is getting faster and faster.
Obviously this is a good thing.
But it can make it easier for us all to get lost and there is the danger of information overload — indeed, I’ve written a guide to (in)sanity in the age of FOAM that I continually update, the LITFL post on Information Overload. The FOAM world is now impossible to keep up with. We need to be able to find what we want when we need it, according to our knowledge needs.
One of the great developments for ‘just in time’ learning is the creation of GoogleFOAM by Vancouver-based EM Physician Todd Raine (@RaineDoc). It was known as emgoogle.com in it’s previous incarnation, but has now grown to be more inclusive.
This is what GoogleFOAM is all about:
- it is a search engine
- it allows a unified search of all the FOAM resources on the Web
- it is partly derived from the complete list of EM/CC Blogs is available at LITFL here
- as GoogleFOAM develops it will allow search restrictions to separate realms, such as anaesthesia, general practice, ultrasound, etc.
- if you want to add a site to GoogleFOAM send Todd an email: taraine at hotmail dot com
GoogleFOAM is a work in progress, but is already a fabulous tool. It helps both learners and teachers find high quality free resources instantly.
GoogleFOAM is also particularly valuable for FOAM creators. Something that has been lost a little with the growth of FOAM has been the recognition that interconnectedness is everything to a blog. This how the first FOAM blogs and podcasts got their feet through the door in the first place — by building a network of relevant links that created a community. As more FOAM is created I liked to see more links to what has come before, so that users can see the incremental gain, so that connections are forged, relationships are created and conversations started. GoogleFOAM is ideal for this — search it before you blog or podcast and don’t be stingy when linking out 🙂
Vive la FOAM.
Free Open Access Medical education
Chris is an Intensivist and ECMO specialist at the Alfred ICU in Melbourne. He is also a Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University. He is a co-founder of the Australia and New Zealand Clinician Educator Network (ANZCEN) and is the Lead for the ANZCEN Clinician Educator Incubator programme. He is on the Board of Directors for the Intensive Care Foundation and is a First Part Examiner for the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He is an internationally recognised Clinician Educator with a passion for helping clinicians learn and for improving the clinical performance of individuals and collectives.
After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.
He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE. He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of litfl.com, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.
His one great achievement is being the father of three amazing children.
On Twitter, he is @precordialthump.