Establishment of an Undergraduate FOAM Initiative: International Emergency Medicine (iEM) Education Project for Medical Students

West J Emerg Med. 2020 Dec 16;22(1):63-70. doi: 10.5811/westjem.2020.10.48385.


Introduction: Our goal was to describe the structure, process, platforms, and piloting period activities of the International Emergency Medicine (iEM) Education Project, which is a Free Open Access Medical Education (FOAM) initiative designed for medical students.

Methods: This was a descriptive study. We analyzed the activity data of iEM Education Project platforms (website and image, video, audio archives) in the piloting period (June 1, 2018-August 31, 2018). Studied variables included the total and monthly views, views by country and continents, the official languages of the countries where platforms were played, and their income levels.

Results: Platforms were viewed or played 38,517 times by users from 123 countries. The total views and plays were 8,185, 11,896, and 18,436 in June, July, and August, respectively. We observed a monthly increasing trend in all platforms. Image archive and website were viewed the most. All platforms were dominantly viewed from Asia and North America, high- and upper-middle-income countries, and non-English speaking countries. However, there were no statistically significant differences between continents, income levels, or language in platforms, except for the website, the project's main hub, which showed a strong trend for difference between income levels (Kruskal-Wallis, P = 0.05). Website views were higher in high-income countries compared with low- and lower-middle income countries (Mann Whitney U test, P = 0.038 and P = 0.021, respectively).

Conclusion: The iEM Education Project was successfully established. Our encouraging initial results support the international expansion and increased collaboration of this project. Despite targeting developing countries with limited resources in this project, their engagement was suboptimal. Solutions to reach medical students in these countries should be investigated.