Keeping upto date in EM

HEFTEMCAST was setup for those of us lucky enough to work at the Heart of England Emergency Department, to help pool our resources with regards the evidenced based medicine that we talk about every day on the shop floor. It allows us to share projects and assignments for all to benefit from and to facilitate interaction between friends and colleagues working different sides of the 24 clock.

From a personal point of view getting involved in FOAM has led to a real increase in my enjoyment and (I hope) a real improvement in my practice of Emergency Medicine.

To regular users of #FOAMed the benefits of interacting and learning through FOAM are obvious but a tweet this morning highlighted this really neatly

The tweet refers to Rick Body’s post on St Emlyn’s the use of a modified Valsalva manoeuvre and it’s utility in cardioverting SVT’s, this was a review of an article published online by the Lancet just 4 days prior! The tweet demonstrates the power that FOAM has in dramatically cutting the knowledge translation gap that can all too easily exist in Medicine and is summed up fantastically by Ken Milne on The SGEM. With a patient gaining a clinical benefit that would never have been possible without FOAM.

Many of you will have loads of ways to keep up to date but I wanted to mention just a few that have made a massive difference to me, not only by making me more aware of what’s going on but also by making EM even more interesting and engaging. If there are any pearls of wisdom you want to share with others reading this, then please add them to the comments section at the bottom of the page.

But if I could give 5 simple suggestions to anybody not engaged with online learning yet they would be as follows……

1. Download a podcast app on your iPhone or android and keep up to date with all of your favourite podcasts on the go, learning can happen anywhere whilst doing almost anything

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2. Read Natalie May’s blog at St Emlyns on Drinking from the Fire Hose, based on advice from Rick Body about recieving automated emails on any new publication relevant to your interest in EM. This is a fantastic way to make sure you’re seeing the latest literature ASAP

3. Subscribe and follow Life in the Fast Lane – THE FOAM resource!  With regular update on the best new journal articles and a review of the best intentional FOAM resources

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4. Get a Twitter account, follow people who are involved in the literature and participate in conversations about everything and anything EM, people love to share what they’ve learnt. There are lists out there of people to follow like this one from Mike Cadogan

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5. And finally the best way to keep up to date is to teach.

Teaching forces you to review the literature first hand and to ensure that you understand where ideas originate and have evolved from. Sharing that hard graft and teaching to a wide audience who can give you their thoughts and opinions. The way to make that audience as wide and engaged as possible? Well that’s by producing FOAM. Whatever classroom, meeting or conference you go to your audience will never be as big as FOAM can allow.

You don’t need to go the whole hog and set up your own site, there are plenty of us out there who would love to collaborate or even just to help you publish your own work, it’s not as big a leap as you think!

Simon Laing

ps-check out the list of other sites and FOAM over at The Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s FOAMed site

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2 thoughts on “Keeping upto date in EM

  1. Ken Milne says:

    Great info on keeping up to date on EM. I liked that you picked my favourite number FIVE:)
    Really good information that should be shared. If the knowledge translation window is going to be cut from over 10 years to less than 1 year we need to use the new tools social media provides. The ultimate goal is to provide patients with the best care based on the best evidence.

  2. sl says:

    Thanks Ken

    Really looking forward to the new season of the SGEM and the interactive features you’ll have


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