Before there was FOAM...

Before the current trend toward FOAM, there were two “institutions” of emergency medical learning that, together with my textbooks, journals, and in-person educators, have taught me the science and art of emergency medicine.

The first, Emergency Medicine Abstracts (also affectionately known as the Rick and Jerry show), discusses 40 papers a month that relate to emergency medicine. Just this month, they review everything from a bread and butter review on anaphylaxis in the American Journal of Medicine to a randomized trial of CPAP and BiLevel in the Journal of Emergency Medicine. They even go through a pretty stiff review of the European Urology Guidelines on Priapism in European Urology.

By blasting holes in the methodology, and sharing some clinical, system, and professional pearls that I would get nowhere else, they continue to show everyone the importance of critical thinking. I don’t know of another source, be it on the internets (or real life) that demonstrates the evolving nature of medicine, the importance of skepticism, and the benefits and limitations evidence based medicine.


The second, EMRAP from Mel Herbert, lays out clinical pearls with a vengeance. He, along with his tight crew of smarty-pants, pretty-much defines cutting edge emergency medicine. He has practical pearls, clinical wisdom, and plenty of stupid jokes that I always laugh at.

While EMA generally takes my full attention (think Aesop Rock), EMRAP is more like Barry Manilow- easy listening.

This month, Mel and the gang have a great review of pediatric pressors, an analysis of elevated D-dimers cut-offs in the elderly, and fantastic rant on the dangers of using “rules” to call wide-complex tachycardia’s anything other than possible V-tach. …and I’m only halfway through.

Anyway, EMA and EMRAP were producing cutting-edge and thought-provoking online education way before FOAM. Sure, they make some money with it, but it is some of the best money that I’ve ever spent.


Pro-Tip: The straight value of subscribing to EMA and EMRAP will cost the “normal” ED physician 295+345$. While I think that is totally worth it for all the most destitute emergency physician. However, if you’re still training, you can get them both for only 25$ by signing-up with the Emergency Medicine Residency Association