Finger on the pulse: starter kit edition

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


1) Life in the Fast Lane “LITFL”

  • Strengths: EKG building blocks, FOAM, Critical Care Content

2) Academic Life in Emergency Medicine “ALIEM”

  • Strengths: PV Cards & Tricks of the Trade. PV Cards are invaluable, concise bullet pointed approaches to a wide variety of topics.

3) Radiopaedia

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

4) Orthobullets

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

5) Amal Mattu via Youtube

  • Strengths: Quick videos with systematic approaches and case-based learning
  • Moved to a paid site,, but the archived videos are still available on YouTube

6) USC EM Education

  • Strengths: 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!


1) @FOAMstarter

  • Strengths: geared toward the FOAM beginner

2) @FOAM_highlights

  • Strengths: a digest of popular FOAM resources; will help you identify more people to follow

3) @ALIEMteam

  • Strengths: Academic Life in EM twitter handle


1) WikiEM

  • Strengths: Huge database to reference on the fly while on shift

2) Evernote

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

3) Google Translate

  • Strengths: Help translate on the fly or build your vocab word by word while on shift


1) EM Basic

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


  • Strengths: A more in-depth, critical care oriented podcast


  • 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!

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