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FOAM Primer for EMS Instructors
Tap Into the FOAM:
An Intro to Free Open Access Medical
Education for EMS Instructors
David A. Marcus, MD
EMIMDoc.org - @EMIMDoc
Asst. Prof. of Emergency Medicine, Hofstra-Northwell SOM
Director of Student Education, Emergency Medicine, LIJ Medical Center
Delivered at the FDNY EMS Academy – April 12, 2016
• The internet and social media
• Nuts and Bolts of FOAM
• Risks/Benefits in education
• EMS Resources
A Little About the World Wide Web
• Web 1.0 – Static, unidirectional, limited
• Web 2.0 – Dynamic, interactive, by and for
users. Social networks and file sharing sites
as a manifestation.
• Web 3.0 – The Semantic Web. AI, Intelligent
networks predicting our needs.
Sorting It All Out
• Social Networks
• Professional/Niche Networks
• Photo/Video Sharing Services
• Social Bookmarking
Social Media and Learners
• GenX, Millennial learners are online anyway,
often in an educational void
• Inherently self directed and interactive
• Allows for experiential learning
• Immediate feedback/gratification
• Requires strong critical assessment skills
• Based on real, or realistic and relatable,
• Personalized and asynchronous
A Wise Man Once Said:
"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 conference.
If you want to know how we will practice medicine in the future,
listen in the hallways and use FOAM."
- Prof. Joe Lex
• Dr. Chris Nickson (@precordialthump)
– “We need to stop re-inventing the wheel in every
department, in every hospital, in every state, in
• Dr. Lauren Westafer (@Lwestafer)
– “Free Open Access Meducation is essentially
a personalized, continually expanding medical
curriculum that embraces an individual’s attention
deficits, evolves as one learns, encourages active
learning, and pushes the bounds of one ‘ought’ to
• Keep up with cutting edge prehospital care
• Participate in conferences around the world
• Converse directly with thought leaders...
• Learn and retain more through Spaced Repetition
• Stay up to date on new resources and tools
• Get a quick consult, feedback on your own ideas,
network, professional opportunities, etc...
• Do it all on your own schedule
With FOAM You Can:
Stuff I've Learned
Delayed Sequence Intubation
Advanced AW Management
Critical Procedures in EM
Rules of Engagement
Caveat Emptor – Verify reliability
Anonymity is dead
Nothing is deleteable
Everything is discoverable
Treat people with respect
Maintain professional standards
Do not violate local policies and laws
You and your digital persona are inseparable
OK, Now We’re Ready
• Step 1: Join Twitter (Details at end of slideset)
– Install the app on your devices
– Follow users, search for hashtags
– Links to articles, posts.
– #FOAMems - #FOAMed - #HEMS - #prehospital
• Step 2: Subscribe to Blogs and/or Podcasts
– Find interesting sites via Twitter
– Can be done via website/email
– Or, use an aggregator like Feedly
– Or, set up an RSS feed
It’s OK To Watch
• Don’t feel uncomfortable if some
conversations make no sense.
• Start by following only a small number of
accounts and deciding who you like.
• You can always unfollow.
EMS on Twitter
Primary EMS Hashtags
#FOAMems -- #HEMS -- #prehospital
Some accounts I like (among many great ones!)
• @NYCEMSwebsite (NOT FDNY, humor)
Some EMS, EM, Crit Care Blogs
EMS Suggestions From Twitter
• In response to a question posted to the Twitter
To find any of
just enter the
(without @) into
the search box
FOAM for Lifelong Learning
• Learn on your own schedule
• Access to experts
• Remote conference participation, and more!
• Be mindful of professionalism
• Start with Twitter or a few blogs and increase
dose as tolerated.
#FOAMed - #FOAMems - #HEMS - #prehospital
Just Do It
It's good for you.
@EMIMDoc / EMIMDoc.org
Technical details on joining Twitter follow….
The Technical Stuff
• There are a TON of FOAM primers out now,
can be a little overwhelming. Links to some of
the better ones can be found on the next
• If you’re comfortable signing up for twitter
and following blogs, no need to continue.
• Excellent General Overview by Tim Leeuwenburg
• Another Primer from TamingtheSRU, including an
explanation of Feedly
• Twitter Videos by Rob Rogers
– Getting Started on Twitter
– Twitter Series #2
– The Twitter App
– Tweeting and Hashtagging