What is it?
FOAM, or FOAMed (which leads to less sordid google findings) stands for Free Open Access Medical Education (or Meducation). This is the brainchild of a bunch of primarily critical care physicians, and the history can be read about in more detail in this journal article.
Check out some more info, including videos about FOAM from the Mother-of-all-FOAM-sites LifeIntheFastLane.com.
But in short, FOAM is a dynamic collection of resources and tools for lifelong learning in medicine. It’s acually more than that, in that it’s a community of people – doctors, nurses, paramedics, educators and students – as well as an ethos.
Chris Nickson gave a talk to the Melbourne University MD students in July 2014 at their Annual Student Conference about FOAM in the medical community, and it’s relevance to students. You can access the slides and references for that talk here.
FOAMed is really part of a greater movement, the Open Access Movement. You can read more about that here.
What’s in it for me?
There are many reasons why it’s smart to keep your eye on the growing bank of FOAMed resources. Here is a 6 minute live Lightning Talk by Ali Gould at the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine Annual Scientific Meeting in December 2014, on how this website can help you as a student (medical or otherwise):
This is what some others are saying:
Lauren Westafer sums it up pretty well here.
Eve Purdy on medical students and FOAM:
What’s this site for then?
This site is a hub for students (medical, nursing, paramedic… but it’s matched to a typical medical curriculum). We all learn at different paces, and need help with different things. Our medical schools offer core teaching, and we are on our own after that. These subject-specific pages offer little nuggets of gold to supplement your regular teaching.
Collaborate, get involved!
FOAM by its very nature draws people together, wherever there is an internet connection and a device to access it. People are collaborating across levels of training, types of medical and paramedical fields, across different specialties and sub-specialties, across the globe. Get involved if you are a student – there are students producing high quality stuff right now. If you want to contribute to this site follow this link.
Want to create some FOAM? That’d be awesome! Find out how.