Skip to main content

Four strategies to find, evaluate, and engage with online resources in emergency medicine

  • Andrea Lo (a1), Eric Shappell (a2), Hans Rosenberg (a1), Brent Thoma (a3), James Ahn (a2), N. Seth Trueger (a4) and Teresa M. Chan (a5)...

Despite the rapid expansion of online educational resources for emergency medicine, barriers remain to their effective use by emergency physicians and trainees. This article expands on previous descriptions of techniques to aggregate online educational resources, outlining four strategies to help learners navigate, evaluate, and contribute online. These strategies include 1) cultivating digital mentors, 2) browsing the most popular free open access medical education (FOAM) websites, 3) using critical appraisal tools developed for FOAM, and 4) contributing new online content.

Malgré la croissance rapide des ressources didactiques en ligne en médecine d’urgence, il existe encore des obstacles à leur utilisation efficace par les urgentologues et les stagiaires. Aussi expliquons-nous davantage en détail, dans l’article, des techniques déjà décrites de collecte de ressources didactiques en ligne, et mettons-nous de l’avant quatre moyens pour aider les apprenants à naviguer dans les sites, à les évaluer et à ajouter du nouveau contenu en ligne. Ces moyens consistent : 1) à trouver des mentors dans un environnement numérique; 2) à naviguer dans les sites Web de formation médicale en libre accès, les plus visités; 3) à utiliser les outils d’évaluation critique conçus pour ces derniers sites; et 4) à ajouter du nouveau contenu en ligne.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Four strategies to find, evaluate, and engage with online resources in emergency medicine
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Four strategies to find, evaluate, and engage with online resources in emergency medicine
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Four strategies to find, evaluate, and engage with online resources in emergency medicine
      Available formats
Corresponding author
Correspondence to: Dr. Andrea Lo, Department of Emergency Medicine, Humber River Hospital, 1235 Wilson Ave, Toronto, ON M3M 0B2; Email:
Hide All
1. Cadogan, M, Thoma, B, Chan, TM, Lin, M. Free Open Access Meducation (FOAM): the rise of emergency medicine and critical care blogs and podcasts (2002-2013). Emerg Med J 2014;31(e1):e76-e77.
2. Purdy, E, Thoma, B, Bednarczyk, J, Migneault, D, Sherbino, J. The use of free online educational resources by Canadian emergency medicine residents and program directors. CJEM 2015;17(2):101-106.
3. Thurtle, N, Banks, C, Cox, M, Pain, T, Furyk, J. Free Open Access Medical Education resource knowledge and utilisation amongst Emergency Medicine trainees: A survey in four countries. Afri J Emerg Med 2015;6:12-17.
4. Nickson, CP, Cadogan, MD. Free Open Access Medical education (FOAM) for the emergency physician. Emerg Med Australas 2014;26(1):76-83.
5. Thoma, B, Joshi, N, Trueger, NS, Chan, TM, Lin, M. Five strategies to effectively use online resources in emergency medicine. Ann Emerg Med 2014;64(4):392-395.
6. Paterson, QS, Colmers, IN, Lin, M, Thoma, B, Chan, T. The quality checklists for health professions blogs and podcasts. The Winnower 2015;2:e144720.
7. Chan, TM, Grock, A, Paddock, M, Kulasegaram, K, Yarris, LM, Lin, M. Examining reliability and validity of an online score (ALiEM AIR) for rating free open access medical education resources. Ann Emerg Med 2016;68(6):729-735.
8. Chan, TM, Thoma, B, Krishnan, K, et al. Derivation of two critical appraisal scores for trainees to evaluate online educational resources: A METRIQ Study. West J Emerg Med 2016;17(5):574-584.
9. Thoma, B, Chan, T, Desouza, N, Lin, M. Implementing peer review at an emergency medicine blog: bridging the gap between educators and clinical experts. CJEM 2015;17(2):188-191.
10. Sidalak, D, Purdy, E, Luckett-Gatopoulos, S, Thoma, B, Chan, TM. Coached Peer Review: Developing the Next Generation of Authors. Acad Med 2016;92(2):201-204.
11. Thoma, B, Sanders, JL, Lin, M, et al. The social media index: measuring the impact of emergency medicine and critical care websites. West J Emerg Med 2015;16(2):242-249.
12. Riddell, J, Brown, A, Kovic, I, Jauregui, J. Who are the most influential emergency physicians on Twitter? West J Emerg Med 2017;18(2):281-287.
13. Raine, T, Thoma, B, Chan, TM, Lin, M. A custom search engine for emergency medicine and critical care. Emerg Med Australas 2015;27(4):363-365.
14. Kovic, I, Lulic, I, Brumini, G. Examining the medical blogosphere: an online survey of medical bloggers. J Med Internet Res. 2008;10(3):e28.
15. Thoma, B. Social Media Index: Controversy and Evolution. Academic Life in Emergency Medicine. Available at: (accessed August 22, 2016).
16. CACMS Standards and Elements. Standards for Accreditation of Medical Education Programs Leading to the MD Degree March 2015. Ontario: Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS); 2014. Available at:
17. Guyatt, G, Drummond, R, Meade, M, Cook, DJ. Users’ Guides to the Medical Literature: Essentials of Evidence-Based Clinical Practice. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015.
18. Thoma, B, Chan, T, Benitez, J, Lin, M. Educational scholarship in the digital age: a scoping review and analysis of scholarly products. The Winnower 2014;1:1-13.
19. Krishnan, K, Thoma, B, Trueger, NS, Lin, M, Chan, TM. Gestalt assessment of online educational resources may not be sufficiently reliable and consistent. Perspect Med Educ 2017;6(2):91-98.
20. Thoma, B, Sebok-Syer, SS, Krishnan, K, et al. Individual gestalt is unreliable for the evaluation of quality in medical education blogs: a METRIQ study. Ann Emerg Med 2017;epub, 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2016.12.025.
21. Rees, CE, Ford, JE, Sheard, CE. Evaluating the reliability of DISCERN: a tool for assessing the quality of written patient information on treatment choices. Patient Educ Couns 2002;47(3):273-275.
22. Boyer, C, Selby, M, Appel, RD. The health on the net code of conduct for medical and health web sites. Stud Health Technol Inform 1998;52(Pt 2):1163-1166.
23. Paterson, QS, Thoma, B, Milne, WK, Lin, M, Chan, TM. A systematic review and qualitative analysis to determine quality indicators for health professions education blogs and podcasts. J Grad Med Educ 2015;7(4):549-554.
24. Thoma, B, Chan, TM, Paterson, QS, et al. Emergency medicine and critical care blogs and podcasts: establishing an international consensus on quality. Ann Emerg Med 2015;66(4):396-402.e4.
25. Lin, M, Thoma, B, Trueger, NS, et al. Quality indicators for blogs and podcasts used in medical education: modified Delphi consensus recommendations by an international cohort of health professions educators. Postgraduate Medical Journal 2015;91:546-550.
26. Lin, M, Joshi, N, Grock, A, et al. Approved Instructional Resources (AIR) Series: a national initiative to identify quality emergency medicine blog and podcast content for resident education. J Grad Med Educ 2016;8(2):219-225.
27. Choo, EK, Ranney, ML, Chan, TM, et al. Twitter as a tool for communication and knowledge exchange in academic medicine: a guide for skeptics and novices. Medical Teach 2015;37(5):411-416.
28. Roberts, MJ, Perera, M, Lawrentschuk, N, et al. Globalization of continuing professional development by journal clubs via microblogging: a systematic review. J Med Internet Res 2015;17(4):e103.
29. Lin, M, Sherbino, J. Creating a virtual journal club: a community of practice using multiple social media strategies. Journal of Graduate Medical Education 2015;7(3):481-482.
30. Lin, M, Joshi, N, Hayes, BD, Chan, TM. Accelerating knowledge translation: reflections from the online ALiEM-Annals Global Emergency Medicine Journal Club Experience. Ann Emerg Med 2017;69(4):469-474.
31. Swaminathan, A, Core, EM. Available at: (accessed August 22, 2016).
32. Chartier, LB, Helman, A. Development, improvement and funding of the emergency medicine cases open-access podcast. Int J Med Educ 2016;7:340-341.
33. Sherbino, J, Arora, VM, Van Melle, E, et al. Criteria for social media-based scholarship in health professions education. Postgrad Med J 2015;91(1080):551-555.
34. Cabrera, D. Mayo Clinic Includes Social Media Scholarship Activities in Academic Advancement. MCSMN Blog. Available at: (accessed June 17, 2017).
35. Sherbino, J, Chan, T, Schiff, K. The reverse classroom: lectures on your own and homework with faculty. CJEM 2013;15(3):178-180.
36. Prober, CG, Khan, S. Medical education reimagined: a call to action. Acad Med 2013;88(10):1407-1410.
37. Kern, DE, Thomas, PA, Hughes, MT, eds. Curriculum Development for Medical Education: A Six-Step Approach. 2nd ed. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press; 2009.
38. Yardley, S, Dornan, T. Kirkpatrick’s levels and education ‘evidence.’ Med Educ 2012;46(1):97-106.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 1481-8035
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-of-emergency-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed