Just gave a talk on FOAM (or FOAMe as I spelled it) FREE OPEN ACCESS MEDICAL EDUCATION – an acronym coined by Mike Cadogan at the Dublin ICEM 2012 conference.
The legend will state that the idea of FOAM was borne over a pint of Guinness and, like Guinness, – FOAM is good for you! [To view my Prezi click here].
The concept of FOAMe came about because Mike felt that the term “social media” when used in an Emergency Medicine context tends to turn people off. This is particularly evident with older generation docs who are picturing some kid with skinny-ass-hanging-out-jeans Tweeting about Kim Kardashian. This is unfortunate, because, in so doing, these docs aren’t benefiting from engaging in this incredible online conversation.
So, like others, I am trying to be an apostle for FOAM … [and I can understand why Mike has found it challenging to speak about].
Why should we engage in FOAM?
- It’s free.
- It’s relatively easy to access
- Once you know how, it’s an incredibly efficient use of your time.
- It’s created and curated by the avaunt-guard in your specialty.
- If you’re NOT doing it … you’re missing out.
I have found Twitter CLINICALLY useful. Additionally there is a constant conversation going on about emergency medicine that you really need to be a part of because guess what? YOU have something to share!
Why NOT to immerse yourself in FOAM?
- You’re a tech laggard.
- There’s too much stuff out there.
- You may have concerns regarding peer review.
Here’s my thoughts about your concerns.
My name is Nadim and I am a luddite. I learned how to have an online presence by being challenged by my peers – you can too.
There IS a lot of great stuff out there. If you just want to follow ONE thing -follow LifeInTheFastLane
Your concerns regarding peer review are valid. Most of the avaunt guard that are out there should have a profile that explains who they are and what they are about. The LifeintheFastLane folks have tried to catalogue some of the great-tasting FOAM out there [click here] … BUT Just like any Journal Article – you need to critically assess what you’re reading. In a short while you will sift through the stuff that you find useful.
Don’t just take my word for it!
Here’s Anne Marie Cunningham’s take on why you should be a Twittering doc
Read Ronan Kavanagh’s blog [click here] - proof that engaging on the Twitterverse leads to meaningful collegiality and collaboration across international borders.
Here’s Mike’s ICEM2012 Talk on FOAM hosted on the blog of one of my brilliant collegues Andy Neil [click here].
So get out there and sample some FOAM! It has the potential to transform the way you practice – at the very least you will have pushed your envelope a little bit.