Welcome to the FOAM revolution

This article first appeared in the August 2013 edition of Pulse+IT Magazine.

Have you heard medics talking about FOAM or #FOAMed? What does it mean and what exactly is it? Why are so many people giving up their free time to generate free online content? We explain exactly what it is that everyone’s getting so excited about in free online medical education.

So what is FOAM? FOAM stands for Free Open Access Medical Education. It’s a collective term for all the online medical education resources that have become available over the last 10 years. The overall aim of FOAM is to maximise online free learning opportunities for health professionals.

As online technology has developed, more and more health professionals have been posting free content online. Eventually, it became difficult to keep track of what was available – FOAM is a term coined by Perth-based emergency doctor Mike Cadogan that ties them all together under one name.

FOAM comes in many shapes and sizes – there are content, platform and presentation styles to suit everyone’s learning needs.

Blogs are popping up all over the place. Individuals or groups with similar interests set up a blog or website where they publish regular posts. These can be specific educational posts where they discuss teaching on a particular topic, or they can be more general posts about a personal experience or learning point.

Sites like Life in the Fast Lane, EMCrit, St Emlyn’s and ALiEM are all examples of great medical blogs. There are hundreds out there – all in the name of FOAM.

To read the full story, click here for the August 2013 issue of Pulse+IT Magazine.

Author details

Dr Tessa Davis
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tessa Davis is a paediatric emergency trainee at Sydney Children’s Hospital. She created www.guidelinesforme.com, an online, crowd-sourced database of clinical guidelines; www.learnmed.com.au, a not-for-profit social enterprise; and www.iclinicalapps.com, a mobile app development company.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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