Finger on the Pulse: Medical Education Starter Kit

By David Hoffman DO

FOAM: Free Open Access Meducation
Heard of it?
Overwhelmed with resources?
Not sure where to get started?
This blog is for you.

Mission Statement
Our goal is to provide a filtered and concise list of free resources available online that can be easily accessed. The vision is that every month, this series will release an array of interesting, prescreened, resident-focused online content for your perusal.

Below you will find an initial “Starter Kit” to get you going. You’ll find some top resources and below each, a section titled “strengths”, which highlights where to focus your energy within each site.

FOAM: Starter Kit


  • Life in the Fast Lane “LITFL”
    EKG building blocks, FOAM, Critical Care Content

  • Academic Life in Emergency Medicine “ALIEM”
    Paucis verbis cards & tricks of the trade. PV Cards are invaluable, concise bullet pointed approaches to a wide variety of topics.

  • Radiopaedia
    Encyclopedia of searchable radiology with emphasis on visual diagnosis and ability to scan through images

  • Orthobullets
    Categorized by body region with included images, assessment and treatment

  • Amal Mattu via Youtube
    Quick videos with systematic approaches and case-based learning. Moved to a paid site, ecgweekly.com, but the archived videos are still available on YouTube.

  • USC EM Education
    Shameless plug but a resident-focused site with core content videos, blog highlighting education pearls and career tips, and a digestible rundown of what’s happening in the online EM community. You’re here now, so look around!

  • Twitter
    @FOAMstarter--Geared toward the FOAM beginner
    @FOAMhighlights--a digest of popular FOAM resources; will help you identify more people to follow
    @ALIEMteam--Academic Life in EM twitter handle


  • WikiEM
    Huge database to reference on the fly while on shift

  • Evernote
    Organize your “2nd brain” in a systematic way while also having the ability to upload files, pictures, add your own drawn pictures, etc.

  • Google Translate
    Help translate on the fly or build your vocab word by word while on shift


  • EM Basic
    The Basics of EM: Steve Carroll’s “boot camp guide” to approach common chief complaints

    A more in-depth, critical care oriented podcast

  • EM:RAP
    By far the most popular but a largely paid podcast, EM:RAP recently unlocked a ton of content for free

There are many, many more amazing FOAM resources out there, but hopefully this list gave you an easy way to confidently jump in!

Finger on the Pulse: Medical Education Starter Kit
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