CDEM Voice – FOAMonthly


A Heaping Spoonful of FOAM Literature Reviews


Are you tired of hearing about “that cool new study” that your student heard about on a podcast, but can’t cite? Do you find the “why do we do this?” question difficult to answer on shift? Looking to direct your students to landmark EM papers that guide our practice?  This month’s FOAMonthly highlights JournalFeed, formerly EM Topics, which promises to spoon feed us the most important EM literature.

Clay Smith, MD (@spoonfedEM), created JournalFeed to meet the broad needs of novice to advanced learners who need some help staying informed.  Via an almost continuously updating website, daily emails and weekly summary emails, Dr. Smith uses the “spaced repetition” model of learning. After he combs through all of the new EM literature in a month (>1500 articles from 31 journals), Dr. Smith selects articles that seem the most relevant to an EM physician’s practice and posts a summary/emails one reviewed article per day. While each review does link to the primary source, there is also a summary of the highlights, including a single sentence “Spoon Feed” summary, a “why does this matter” section and a brief discussion of the findings and methods of each article.  The website is open access, and daily/weekly emails are via a free subscription.

For our most novice learners, the “Landmark Papers” section will be the most informative. From articles on vent management, stroke care, antibiotic stewardship, to health policy and ED operations, there’s something for every interest.  Best of all, summaries are short, concise and relevant to daily practice.


Happy Spoonfeeding,


Emily Brumfield MD


Assistant Professor

Assistant Director of Undergraduate Medical Education

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

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