CanadiEM year in review and 2020 preview

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Since launching on January 1st, 2016, CanadiEM has experienced a lot of growth. In 2019 our site received >2.1 million pageviews, >300,000 podcast downloads from around the world, and was recognized of the top 10 sites tracked by the #FOAMed Social Media Index.​1,2​ While we have continued to focus on building a Canadian community of emergency physician educators, our growth has been supported by numerous additions to our team and evolutions in how we function.

In 2019 we made several major changes with a focus on increasing our sustainability:

  • Our editorial board has been expanded and restructured. We welcomed a new Editor-in-Chief (Dr. Daniel Ting, @tingdan), transitioned Dr. Teresa Chan (Chief Strategy Officer, @TChanMD) and Dr. BrentThoma (CEO, @Brent_Thoma) to new roles, and appropriately recognized the huge contributions of some of our stalwart contributors and organizers (Dr. Kevin Durr @KevinDurr, Deputy Editor-in-Chief; Dr. Fareen Zaver @fzaver, Chief People Officer; Dr. Alvin Chin @AylC1989, Director of Design;  Dr. Kevin Dong @jdong027, Director of Multimedia; Evan Formosa @EvanFormosa, Director of Social Media).
  • Our Digital Scholars Fellowship Program​3​ expanded to welcome three fellows under the leadership of Dr. Fareen Zaver: Sarah Luckett-Gatopoulos (@SLuckettG), Matthew Douma (@matthewjdouma), and Patrick Boreskie (@PBoreskie). 
  • We began an ongoing experiment with advertising. The response from our readers so far has been mixed (click here to provide feedback!). So far, it is providing sufficient income to fund the site’s core activities (primarily hosting for the blog and podcast) with a small cushion that will be quickly eaten up by initiatives to support our contributors.
  • In addition to the above, we have an amazing group of contributors, Junior Editors​4,5​, and alumni who help things run smoothly behind the scenes. Moving forward, our alumni who would like to stay involved will be recognized in an Alumni Reviewer section of our website and occasionally provide their expertise via reviews of our content.

Recent scholarly achievements from the year have included:

  • A paper describing our ever-evolving internal processes.​6​
  • A paper describing the Blood and Clots series’ massive online needs assessment.​7​
  • Three studies related to the impact of our CanadiEM infographics.​8–10​
  • Recent abstracts on our Junior Editor program,​4,5​ Spot the Diagnosis Series,​11​ and Digital Scholars Program.​3​

As 2020 begins we have a ton of plans! Our new EIC, Dr. Daniel Ting, hopes to establish CanadiEM as the go-to online platform for the incredible medical education scholarship happening in Canada by working with other national educators to minimize the redundancy and maximize the reward of engaging in FOAM. Specific plans include:

  • For our collaborations to continue. Currently, we are working with the American Heart Association and the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation on a major infographics initiative. Through Simon Huang’s (@ThisIsSYMH) work, we are also continuing to publish visual abstracts highlighting articles published in the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine. We also hope to formally announce a collaboration with the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians in the near future. 
  • Our core team continues to be supported by a broader editorial team that runs their sections of our website largely independently. They include Drs. Dillan Radomske and Owen Scheirer producing ongoing CrackCast episodes; our broader infographic team (including Simon Huang, Sparsh Shah, and more!) coordinating various infographic series including the MVP, Teaching that Counts, and AHA series; Tetyana Maniuk continuing her ArtsPRN content; Ahmed Taher coordinating the growing HiQUIPS series; Paula Sneath focused on Sirens to Scrubs; Ben Forestall and Lauren Beals developing the new podcast, ClerkCast; and Eric Tseng and Andrew Shih building the multimedia Blood and Clots knowledge translation series. They all plan to continue their work this year.
  • We will also continue to expand our team. In particular:
    • Evan Formosa (@EvanFormosa) and Sparsh Shah (@sparsh717) continuing to grow our instagram presence (check it out to review all of our infographics!). If you are savvy with social media, they are recruiting engaged contributors to assist with promotional efforts so please be in touch.
    • Lauren Beals (@le_beals) and Ben Forestell’s (@benforestell) work on ClerkCast is just getting started. Ultimately, they would like to pass the project along to aspiring student educators so if you are interested in getting involved, contact them!
    • Our infographics section has grown so much thanks to the work of Alvin Chin and Simon Huang (@ThisIsSYMH) that we need more help with these initiatives. Look out for a recruitment post for our infographics team that will be published on January 10th!

On behalf of the CanadiEM team, thank you. It is your engagement that has allowed our site to achieve this growth in 2019 and will propel us into the next decade! 


  1. 1.
    Thoma B, Chan T, Kapur P, et al. The Social Media Index as an Indicator of Quality for Emergency Medicine Blogs: A METRIQ Study. Ann Emerg Med. 2018;72(6):696-702. doi:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2018.05.003
  2. 2.
    Thoma B, Sanders J, Lin M, Paterson Q, Steeg J, Chan T. The social media index: measuring the impact of emergency medicine and critical care websites. West J Emerg Med. 2015;16(2):242-249. doi:10.5811/westjem.2015.1.24860
  3. 3.
    Zaver F, Thomas A, Shahbaz S, et al. LO14: The CanadiEM Digital Scholars Program: An innovative international digital collaboration curriculum. CJEM. May 2017:S32. doi:10.1017/cem.2017.76
  4. 4.
    Wakeling S, Chan T, Thoma B. LO54: The CanadiEM Junior Editor program: a quantitative study and program evaluation. CJEM. May 2019:S27. doi:10.1017/cem.2019.97
  5. 5.
    Bravo M, Carey R, Nguyen-Dinh D, Chan TM, Thoma B. MP35: The CanadiEM Junior Editor Program: Integrating medical students and junior residents into a dedicated FOAMed training program. CJEM. May 2017:S77. doi:10.1017/cem.2017.201
  6. 6.
    Ting D, Thoma B, Luckett-Gatopoulos S, et al. CanadiEM: Accessing a Virtual Community of Practice to Create a Canadian National Medical Education Institution. AEM Educ Train. 2018;3(1):86-91. doi:10.1002/aet2.10199
  7. 7.
    Chan T, Jo D, Shih A, et al. The Massive Online Needs Assessment (MONA) to inform the development of an emergency haematology educational blog series. Perspect Med Educ. 2018;7(3):219-223. doi:10.1007/s40037-018-0406-0
  8. 8.
    Martin LJ, Turnquist A, Groot B, et al. Exploring the Role of Infographics for Summarizing Medical Literature. Health Professions Education. March 2019:48-57. doi:10.1016/j.hpe.2018.03.005
  9. 9.
    Huang S, Martin LJ, Yeh CH, et al. The effect of an infographic promotion on research dissemination and readership: A randomized controlled trial. CJEM. October 2018:826-833. doi:10.1017/cem.2018.436
  10. 10.
    Thoma B, Murray H, Huang SYM, et al. The impact of social media promotion with infographics and podcasts on research dissemination and readership. CJEM. September 2017:300-306. doi:10.1017/cem.2017.394
  11. 11.
    Zhao L, Maniuk T, Chan TM, Thoma B. P167: The spot the diagnosis! series: using fine art to teach observation skills and medical concepts on a medical education website. CJEM. May 2018:S116-S117. doi:10.1017/cem.2018.365
Dr. Brent Thoma is a medical educator, blogging geek, and trauma/emergency physician who works at the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine. He founded BoringEM and is the CEO of CanadiEM.

Daniel Ting

Daniel Ting is an Emergency Physician and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, based in Vancouver. He is the Editor-in-Chief of CanadiEM and a Decision Editor at the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine. He completed the CanadiEM Digital Scholarship Fellowship in 2017-18. No conflicts of interest (COI).

Teresa Chan

Senior Editor at CanadiEM
Emergency Physician. Medical Educator. #FOAMed Supporter, Producer and Researcher. Chief Strategy Officer of CanadiEM. Associate Professor, Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine, McMaster University.