Happy 1st Birthday, CanadiEM! Our Year in Review

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Well, it’s been a heck of a first year for the CanadiEM team!  

Thank you so much to the amazing FOAM community for welcoming us into the fold and continuing to engage with our team and our content. With your support, our new site has clocked over 600,000 pageviews from over 9000 cities/regions in 201 countries in our first year of operation! This post outlines our year in review and serves to thank the many people that have helped to make this project a reality.

Our Origin Story

Four years ago, our co-founder Brent Thoma (@Brent_Thoma) started a little blog called BoringEM. He envisioned that his website would be a place where he could learn (while he was a resident)1, but also contribute to the online community of practice that was forming under the FOAM bannerhead.2,3

Three years ago, Brent recruited a few more people to expand the BoringEM Team. This group included Teresa Chan (@TChanMD), Eve Purdy (@purdy_eve), S. Luckett-Gatopoulos (@sluckettg), and Heather Murray (@HeatherM211).  With these ladies, the BoringEM team began to grow, and within a few years, we started realizing that we were outgrowing our initial roots as a resident-based blog, and were beginning to notice a void in the FOAM community. The Aussies had Life in the Fast Lane, the Americans had Academic Life in Emergency Medicine and EMCrit, and the Brits had St. Emlyn’s… but while there were many Canadians blogging (First 10EM, SOCMOB, EM Ottawathe Chart Review) and podcasting online (EM Cases, The SGEM), we had not yet galvanized Canadian Emergency Medicine practitioners with a dedicated site for our nation’s Canadian EM community of practice.  

So, we banded together a group of merry bloggers and podcasters to create CanadiEM.org. A dedicated team of editors and advisory board members worked through the summer and fall months of 2015 to negotiate the merger of two websites (BoringEM, FrontDoor2HealthCare).  After our launch we would welcome the content from other collaborators for both new and previously produced content.  Over the course of 2016 we would welcome Nadim Lalani (whom generously seconded his ERMentor site content to us), Niresha Velmurugiah (with the new Physicians as Humans Podcast series), the CAEP Education Working Group Great Evidence in Medical Education (GEMeS) and Featured Educational Innovations (FEI), CanadiEM FLOW Hacks (led by Dave Savage), Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine (CJEM) infographics project, and the CrackCast Podcast team (Adam Thomas, Chris Lipp, Tristan Jones, and many more).

Goals and Aspirations

In creating CanadiEM we hoped that we could foster an online community of practice for EM providers from Canada and beyond.  In the past year, we feel we have created a site that is a “go-to” resource for all types of EM providers (paramedics, nurses, medical students, residents, attendings).

In the next year, we intend to continue our present operations and support the development of:

  • Our Medical Content and New Submissions Process, under the section leadership of S.Luckett-Gatopoulos
  • Opinions & Commentaries section under the leadership of Eddie Kwok and Shahbaz Syed
  • Featured Leadership and Organizational Workplace (FLOW) Hacks under the leadership of Dave Savage
  • Physicians as Humans podcast under the leadership of Niresha Velmurugiah
  • CRACKCast under the leadership of Adam Thomas, Chris Lipp, and Tristan Jones

We will also be continuing our relationships with:

  • CAEP’s Educational Working Group with their GEMeS and FEI series, under our syndication editor Dr. Daniel Ting
  • Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine to work with them on promoting their works via the CanadiEM infographics project led by the CJEM Social Media team in collaboration with our infographic editors, Calvin Yeh, Alvin Chin, and Simon Huang
  • TREKK and CanadiEM continue to translate the latest in pediatric EM guidelines led by Kaif Pardhan and Ashley Lubberdink

Finally, we will be continuing to innovate with regards to online education via a number of our “behind-the-scenes” programs:

  • Coached Peer Review process – This process augments our New Submissions Process by assigning an editorial “coach” to assist junior writers in preparing blog posts for CanadiEM. Our hope is that we can foster junior writers to develop their skills as academic bloggers, and create a positive learning environment (rather than that of traditional peer review, which can be rather adversarial). Of note, this process has been recently featured in the illustrious Academic Medicine journal as an innovation report.4
  • CanadiEM Junior Editors program – A program where we are fostering educational leaders for tomorrow by engaging junior members of our community to help with copy editing and uploading of new CanadiEM content. In particular, Mike Bravo, Dat Nguyen-Dinh, Jesse Leontowicz, Rob Carey, Sean Nugent, and Riley Golby for being some of our most active junior editors.
  • CanadiEM Digital Scholars program – The newest behind-the-scenes program, we are proud to announce that we will be launching an open call for our first two CanadiEM Digital Scholars this January. Co-led by Drs. Fareen Zaver and Teresa Chan, this unique experience will give two Canadian PGY4s a chance to augment their special interest time with a robust program that will develop them as digital scholars. This program has been piloted by Drs. Shabhaz Syed (U of Ottawa) and Adam Thomas (UBC) in the past two years.  The curriculum will be competency-based, customized for each scholar, and focuses on production of online educational resources and other digital scholarship, and will give the scholars instant access to Canadian and International leaders in FOAM production.

Our complete list of editors has been updated and is available here.

Our Future

For CanadiEM to continue growing, we will need your help. We hope that our Canadian and international readers will continue to read (and listen!), contribute, and share their perspectives on emergency medicine.

We will continue to feature work from international writers in the same way that national medical journals feature international researchers. To meet our ambitious goals we are going to need more members on each of our editorial teams (let us know if you’re interested!).

Finally, we are looking for ways to engage more of our Canadian readers. Please let our Editors and/or Advisers know us what you like, what you dislike, and what you would like to see covered / discussed on CanadiEM. We still consider CanadiEM to be a work-in-progress, but our goal is to continue to innovate to meet your evolving needs.

To all of our CanadiEM readers, thank you so much for your support. In an effort to spread our work far and wide, we would greatly appreciate your continued support for CanadiEM. If the vision, mission, and content continues to resonates with you, please share this post and ask your friends and colleagues working in emergency medicine to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


Thoma B. Personal reflections on exploring social media in medicine. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2015;27(2):161-166. [PubMed]
Cadogan M, Thoma B, Chan T, Lin M. Free Open Access Meducation (FOAM): the rise of emergency medicine and critical care blogs and podcasts (2002-2013). Emerg Med J. 2014;31(e1):e76-7. [PubMed]
Nickson C, Cadogan M. Free Open Access Medical education (FOAM) for the emergency physician. Emerg Med Australas. 2014;26(1):76-83. [PubMed]
Sidalak D, Purdy E, Luckett-Gatopoulos S, Murray H, Thoma B, Chan T. Coached Peer Review: Developing the Next Generation of Authors. Acad Med. May 2016. [PubMed]
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.

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.