Video introduction coming soon!

What is FOAM Club?

FOAM Club is a new educational format designed to teach learners how to appraise FOAM resources. Building on the framework of traditional journal clubs, FOAM Club is a ready to go educational experience that you can slot into your educational calendar. Everything you need to get a FOAM Club session up and running is right here, on this website.

What is FOAM?

FOAM (aka Free Open Access Medical education) is a movement that consists of blog posts, podcasts, videos and other resources available online. It utilizes the reach and power of social media to stimulate discussion and democratize knowledge dissemination. FOAM is not solely defined by social media, nor is it free from peer review.

Who’s doing FOAM?

Content is produced by individual physicians, academic groups, and medical journals. FOAM content predominantly covers Emergency Medicine and Critical Care topics, but is branching out to include other specialties. As of 2018, there were 460 emergency medicine and critical care blogs and podcasts; resources exist in 16 languages, produced by 40 countries, used by learners from over 220 countries.

Pediatric Emergency Medicine specific sites include PedEM Morsels, PEMBlog, Don’t Forget the Bubbles, PEM Playbook, PEM Academy, and Little People Big Medicine. Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (ALiEM) is a predominant source of FOAM content for emergency medicine.

How is FOAM being used?

ACGME allows up to 20% of Emergency Medicine Residency didactics to be asynchronous learning, which is often FOAM. Students, residents, fellows and attendings are using FOAM for teaching, on shift and post shift learning.

Is it reliable?

Over the past several years a team of investigators, many of whom contribute to the widely read blog Academic Life in Emergency Medicine, have worked to develop a set of validated assessment tools for online asynchronous FOAM resources. The following studies were instrumental in developing the assessment tools you will be using during FOAM Club.

  • The Social Media Index was developed as a way to create a schema to reflect the overall quality of blogs and podcasts analogous to Impact Factor.
  • A systematic review identified credibility, content and design – as consistent themes for high quality FOAM resources.
  • A Modified Delphi built expert consensus on amongst the quality indicators identified in the systematic review for FOAM resources.
  • These quality indicators lead to the development of validated tools to assess individual blog posts and podcasts, as well as educational resources, pioneered through the development of the ALiEMU educational platform.