• What exactly is FOAM?!

    by Alan Batt. Last modified: 29/01/14


    FOAM stands for Free Open Access Meducation – Medical education for anyone, anywhere, anytime.

    Coined by FOAM inventors Drs. Mike Cadogan & Chris Nickson, the concept is simple – share medical education instantly and for free with everyone who’s interested, and thereby encourage further research, evidence-based practice and better patient care.


    FOAM is completely platform independent – it includes blogs, Facebook pages and groups, podcasts, tweets, online videos, documents, photos, video blogs, and websites – such as this one.


    The main vehicle used for the promotion of the FOAM concept is Twitter.

    On Twitter, related tweets can be “hash-tagged”, in order to allow for easy searching of related topics.

    The 140 character limit of a tweet harks back to the early days of Twitter, when tweets were sent by SMS (which has a limit of 160 characters – 140 were available for your content and 20 were used by Twitter). Hashtags developed as a way of tagging posts whilst using the minimum of characters.

    The main FOAM related hashtags are:

    1. #FOAMed – the main hashtag of the FOAM movement.
    2. #FOAMPed – tweets relating to paediatric medical education.
    3. #FOAMcc – tweets relating to critical and intensive care education.
    4. #FOAMtox – tweets relating to toxicology medical education.
    5. #EMTOT – Tricks of the Trade in Emergency Medicine

    Useful FOAM resources

    How do I get started with FOAM?

    The quickest and easiest way is with Twitter:

    You can also check out our list of FOAM links on our links page – click here


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    Alan Batt

    Alan Batt

    Paramedic, educator, researcher
    Alan is a critical care paramedic, paramedic educator and prehospital researcher, currently working around the world as an educator and researcher. He has previously worked and studied across Europe, North America and the Middle East. He holds a Graduate Certificate in Intensive Care Paramedic Studies, and an MSc in Critical Care. His main interests are in care of the elderly, end-of-life care, patient safety, professionalism (including role and identity), and paramedic education.

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