Photo by Suzanne Neubauer

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,, 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!