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Background: Free open access to medical education (FOAM, #FOAM) is the free availability of educational materials on various medicine topics. We hope to evaluate the use of social media and FOAM by emergency medical services (EMS) providers. Methods: We designed an online survey distributed to EMS providers with questions about demographics and social media/FOAM use by providers. The survey was sent to the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) EMS Listserv of medical directors and was asked to be distributed to their respective agencies. The survey was designed to inquire about the providers’ knowledge of FOAM and social media and their use of the above for EMS education. Results: There were 169 respondents out of a total of 523 providers yielding a response rate of 32.3%. Fifty-three percent of respondents are paramedics, 37% are EMT-Basic trained, and the remainder (16%) were “other.” The minority (20%) of respondents had heard of FOAM. However, 54% of respondents had heard of “free medical education online” regarding pertinent topics. Of the total respondents who used social media for education, 31% used Facebook and 23% used blogs and podcasts as resources for online education. Only 4% of respondents stated they produced FOAM content. Seventy-six percent of respondents said they were “interested” or “very interested” in using FOAM for medical education. If FOAM provided continuing medical education (CME), 83% of respondents would be interested in using it. Conclusion: Social media is not used frequently by EMS providers for the purposes of FOAM. There is interest within EMS providers to use FOAM for education, even if CME was not provided. FOAM can provide a novel area of education for EMS.
Bucher, J., Donovan, C., & McCoy, J. (2018). EMS providers do not use FOAM for education. International Journal of Emergency Medicine, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12245-018-0189-4
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