Guest Skeptic: Dr. Joe Lex. Many consider Dr. Joe Lex the Godfather of the FOAM (Free Open Access to Medication) movement. Dr. Lex is a Professor of Emergency Medicine at Temple University. His site called Free Emergency Medicine Talks has over 2,300 MP3s of lectures. It is an unbelievable global and free resource for anyone interested in emergency medicine. Dr. Lex has been inspiring the next generation of emergency physicians for years.
We covered the CON side of this debate in SGEM#72: Tiny Bubbles (#FOAMed and #MedEd). Dr. Lex was contacted to respond. He provided a sound clip of his famous quote doing a great impersonation of Marlon Brando Godfather character (FOAM Godfather).
Dr. Lex and I reviewed the concerns raised by Dr. Genes:
Students and physicians would overdose on FOAM
FOAM is essential but maybe not as an exclusive source for medical students and residents
Need to know the basics and FOAM can build on the fundamental knowledge base
Mentions Boring EM, EM Basics and Emergency Medicine Abstracts
Quality of FOAM and difficulty referencing the material
Dr. Fox effect
Ability to reference the FOAM is a trivial matter
FOAM is not a curriculum
Not yet but it is coming
WikiEM is the closest thing to date
Life in the Fast Lane is pretty good
Learners have limited time so should use other more traditional resources
Depends on individual learning styles
FOAM could make people intellectually lazy and not dive deeper into the literature
We do that all the time when reading summary articles and meta analysis
Not intellectually lazy but rather intellectually efficient
We then expanded on Dr. Lex’s famous quote:
If you want to know how we practiced medicine 5 years ago, read a textbook.
FOAM is like lego for the brain that can fill in the gaps of knowledge that are already there
FOAM can not substitute for a text book yet but WikiEM may ready in 2-3 years
If you want to know how we practiced medicine 2 years ago, read a journal.
Might be a little exaggerated, especially with pre-publication on line now
There still is a lag time due to the peer review process
If you want to know how we practice medicine last year, go to a (good) conference.
Only a handful Dr. Lex considers good (ICEM, AAEM and SMACC)
I am biased towards CAEP and BEEM conferences
If you want to know how we practice medicine now and in the future, listen to the conversations in the hallway and use #FOAMed.
Twitter is an absolutely phenomenal tool
Leaf from Tree of Hippocrates
Final Thoughts: Dr. Lex is very jealous about the next generation of medical educators who have embraced FOAM. Hippocrates was talking about free open access to medical education in his oath. Dr. Lex has a leaf from the tree of Hippocrates from the town of Kos. It is under this tree Hippocrates taught the art of medicine for free to his students.
KEENER KONTEST: Last weeks winner was Chris Belcher from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Chris got all three answers correct about azithromycin.
Discovered in 1980
Patented in 1981
Discovered by Croatian Dr. Slobadan Dokic’s team
Listen to this weeks podcast for the Keener question. If you know the answer then send your answer to TheSGEM@gmail.com with “keener”in the subject line. Be the first one with the correct answer and I will send you a cool SGEM skeptical prize.
Remember to be skeptical of anything you learn, even if you heard it on The Skeptics’s Guide to Emergency Medicine.