By @benazan

Book Foam White

Free Open Access Medical education (FOAM) began as medium for accelerated knowledge translation of cutting edge medical knowledge and as a virtual community of practice for ED physicians. As it matures, it’s grown to include many excellent sources of core content material that can be used by residents to learn the basics of Emergency Medicine and yes, to study for boards and inservice exams.

Here are my recommendations for FOAM for inservice/board studying. Keep in mind that many of these resources are great material for longitudinal study and don’t work well for cramming. So start early. Remember spaced recall is KEY to retaining knowledge. The other caveat is that what is largely missing in the FOAM community is high quality board review questions. ALiEM and their Chief incubator are working on fixing that issue.


  • Individual Sources:
    • EM Basic – Great podcast for junior resident to get their feet wet with emergency medicine thinking. Great review sheets.
    • FOAMCastEntertaining, short blasts of core content, with a few board review questions from Rosh Review included accompanying blog posts.
    • CoreEM  – The new kid on the block, with great core content blog posts and podcasts.
    • EM Cases – Is a treasure trove of EM core content. A good place to start is their EM Cases Summaries.
    • emDocs  – An ever expanding series of high yield core content articles, with a review card style question bank to boot.
    • Stemlyns Blog and Podcast – A great mix of core review and advance topics from our friends from across the pond.
  • Content Aggregators / MOOCs:
    • ALiEMU – Offers a great material via it’s Capsules series focused on pharmacology and AIR series composed on monthly high yield FOAM topics with board review style questions
    • – A searchable database of FOAM resources organized by category, learner level, media type.
  • Review Card Based: 
    • – 1412 board review “EMCards” on core content emergency medicine topics by Dr. Reuben Strayer. I know people who have downloaded them and put them in an idevice flashcard app.
    • BoringEM – In addition to being a great blog for core EM review, Dr. Brent Thoma has “Boring Cards” ~1000 core content review cards ready to download (need to download phone flashcard app)

FOAMish (free to EMRA members):

  • EMRAP – Fantastic core content podcast. Review sheets and, little known, 20 board review questions a month!
  • EMedHome – Great monthly free podcast by Amal Mattu (all topics) and access to many core topic review lectures.
  • –  Review articles on core EM topics with review/board questions at the end of each article.

Not FOAM but a great deals:

  • HippoEM – If you’re already a member of EMRA, you can get an even better deal than the regular ‘resident’ price, $189 per year with EMRA resident discount.


Disclosures: I, Dr. Benjamin Azan, take no money from any of the services/blogs/podcasts above. I am a founder of and also an assistant editor at FoamCAST was co-founded by a Sinai EM resident (Dr. Jeremy Faust). Dr. Reuben Strayer is an attending at a Mount Sinai Affiliate hospital. EB Medicine is a publication managed by Dr. Andy Jagoda, chair of the Mount Sinai Emergency department.


May 2024