Episode 11: Blogs and Podcasts for the New EM Resident

by Bob Stuntz in

Starting your residency in Emergency Medicine can be daunting, and sometimes there is just too much information to digest.  This is especially true in the world of FOAMed (Free Open Access Medical Education).  With so many blogs, websites, social media resources, and podcasts out there, where is a green EM resident to start?  With the help of the FOAMed community, I try to guide you to the right places to get your feet wet.

FOAMed (Free Open Access Medical education) is a new concept in medical education.  What is it?  That post has been done by Lauren Westafer (www.shortcoatsinem.blogspot.com) here: http://shortcoatsinem.blogspot.com/2012/09/foam-party-future-of-medical-education.html.  It is a great way to learn asynchronously and develop your own curriculum.  However, if you are new to this, it can be daunting.  What are the best resources for the beginning EM resident to start with?  Lets make sure you understand the basics of what you need:

- Twitter/Facebook: Social media sites.  Both allow you to have conversations, ask questions, and meet and interact with people you may not have previously.  

- Blogs: Web based educational sites.  

- Podcasts: Video or audio recordings (portable lectures that you can pause, rewind, relisten, or go at your own speed).  

    Many people who do these have both.  


Get online and get a Twitter account right now.  It is so much more that pictures of people’s feet at a beach, or 140 characters of political opinionated dribble.  It is a place where experts and novices from all around the world ask each other questions and have discussions/debates on important topics in EM/CC.  It is also used by most bloggers and podcasters as a way to alert you when they have a new post or podcast.  I suggest you make an account, then search for and follow @FOAMstarter.  This is a Twitter account that is following 25 people they think are a good place to start for the EM Twitter novice.  Follow these people, and the rest will follow.  Remember, you don’t have to post, or make any kind of a public profile.  You can lay low if you want, or get involved.  

Blogs: You can follow these websites individually, or download a reader app on your tablet or smartphone (check out this video for more instruction: http://emcrit.org/service/use-rss-feeds-follow-medical-blogs-ipad/)

    Twitter accounts: @precordialthump, @Eleytherius, @sandnsurf, @kane_guthrie

  • Academic Life in Emergency medicine:  http://academiclifeinem.blogspot.com/.  Michele Lin is the editor in chief of this wonderful blog that is authored by many different contributors, including residents, attendings, and even an ED clinical pharmacist.  Great selection of medical pearls as well as posts about different interesting aspects of Academic EM.

    Twitter accounts: @M_lin, , @jvrbntz, @njoshi8, @PharmERToxGuy, @srrezaie

  • Amal Mattu’s EKG videos: http://ekgumem.tumblr.com/.  This is a website of weekly EKG videos.  They are case based, and cover basic to advanced EKG applications from the master himself, the guru of EM Cardiology, Amal Mattu.  

    Twitter account: @amalmattu

Podcasts: You should start by downloading iTunes and creating an account.  No, you don’t have to be a Mac user to use iTunes.  This way, you can start downloading and organizing your podcasts.  Want to know how? Look here: http://www.semep.co.uk/videos.html or here http://emcrit.org/service/rss-itunes-podcasts/  

Special shoutout: EM: RAP.  Not free to all so not truly FOAM, but free with EMRA membership.  This is the grand daddy of them all, and the original EM Podcast.  Monthly installments from some of the best educators in EM.  They span topics from the basic to the advanced, and are a great starting place.  Not short, each month takes some time to listen to, but tons of knowledge.  Previous years’ episodes include the C3 project, which covered core content.  

1. EM Basic:  Boot camp guide to EM.  




2. The Ultrasound Podcast: Everything from the Basics to the advanced for EM/CC ultrasound.  




3. EM Crit:  The go to for EM/CC.  Much in the way of advanced critical care, but also covers some basic topics.  Critical for all em residents.  




4.  The EM Res Podcast: Pretty selfish of me, I know.  My goal is to teach EM residents EM content from the basic to advanced, as well as talk about EM resident issues.  




Board Review

  1. Emergency Board Review





  • Beware of just paying attention to the hot topics.  Make sure to focus on your weak spots.
  • Read everything with a grain of salt, and research it yourself.  
  • The key to your education is core content.  
  • Remember that not everything you read or hear will be applicable to you, your ED, or your practice of EM.


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