Argument 1 - FOAMed Lacks Peer Review
Moreover, material is far more easily accessible to readers via social media rather than paper published journals. Peer reviewed is often nothing but an expert stating that `The paper looks all right to me'. A peer review that asks for raw data, repeated analyses, checks all the references, and making detailed suggestions for improvement is rare. To understand more about the drawbacks of peer review - click here
Argument 2 - Violation of Patient Rights
When using internet for online education, patient privacy comes under threat. There have been cases when Physicians were dismissed following a privacy violation on social media. There are two ways to sort this out - either take a written consent or change the personal details of the patient. Also, we need to sensitise students regarding this.
Argument 3 - Professionalism and your digital foot print
Argument 4 - Information Overload
Read about how to manage information overload here. I personally use the weekly life in the fast lane review and read whatever interests me.
Argument 5 - Confuses Learners (esp Medical Students)
This issue deserves serious attention as junior trainees and medical students often find themselves lost between two strikingly different opinions between their core content textbook and a recently FOAMed article published by an expert. For instance, some texts still mention Loop Diuretics as the first drug of choice for a crashing pulmonary edema while in practise many Emergency Physicians use high dose boluses of NTG for these patients.
A possible solution is having a discussion with the trainee and probing for the evidence behind the use of diuretics and NTG. Educators need to spare a few minutes to explain about the best available evidence and rationale behind a particular treatment. However, some treatments are just based on a clinician's past experiences and anecdotes. It would be appropriate to let the trainee know whenever a treatment is based on a clinician's personal opinion rather than EBM, There are often many ways to treat a disease with none of them being absolutely right or wrong.
Argument 6 - FOAMed = Partial or Swiss Cheese Knowledge
FOAMed is not meant to replace a textbook or get rid of bedside teaching. Medicine is best learned by role modelling and observing our mentors while on shift. None of the FOAMed supporters say that students need not read the textbooks. A textbook is still the foundation and FOAMed is a SUPPLEMENT to solidify the foundation.