Dr Michael Baker from Life in the Fast Lane discusses online medical resources and the concept of FOAM – Free Open Access Medical education.

Speaker biography:

Michael is a paediatric and adult emergency physician, currently dividing his time between Princess Margaret and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital emergency departments in Perth, Western Australia. He completed his emergency training with a sub-specialty in paediatric emergency medicine after a fantastic fellowship year at Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. Now back in Perth, he is a busy father of three who, in addition to his day job, enjoys moonlighting for ‘VIP Medicine’ as a paediatric doctor for visiting VIP’s children. He has been a member of the ‘Life In The Fast Lane’ team since 2011, consulting on all things pertaining to paediatric emergency medicine, and is passionate about online medical education.

Key points:
• FOAM is Free Open Access Medical education.
• It encourages participants to engage in the cycle of knowledge.
• FOAM is excellent for motivated learners, and provides asynchronous learning.
• One of the goals of FOAM is to break down knowledge silos.
• FOAM inherently blurs the lines between teachers & learners.
• Dr Baker gives a nice worked example, with mention of a number of FOAM sites (including Pediatric EM Morsels, St Emlyn’s, The NNT).
• One of the strengths of FOAM is the ability for rapid feedback; something that conventional publishers are adopting.
• There are some good questions at the end of the lecture about how to appraise the reliability and trustworthiness of FOAM content.
• FOAM needs to be read in combination with the source literature.

From the 2013 APLS Paediatric Acute Care Conference in Noosa, Australia.