future of canadiem

Virtual Retreat 2020: The Future of CanadiEM

In Editorial by Daniel TingLeave a Comment

On August 24, 2020 CanadiEM held its first ever virtual retreat. The goal was to conduct a formal needs assessment. In doing so, we can think about the direction of the organization and blog and to map out a vision for the future of CanadiEM. We also aimed to build connections with our members who are distributed around Canada and internationally, especially since in-person gatherings like conferences have been cancelled in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This post aims to summarize the key highlights of the retreat.

Part 1 – Overview by Dr. Ting

Part 2 – Dr. Boreskie (Viewership Metrics)

Part 3 – Dr. Wakeling (Junior Editors Program Evaluation)

Part 4 – Dr. Zaver (Digital Scholars Program)

Part 5 – Dr. Ting for Evan Formosa (Social Media)

Part 6 – Dr. Ting – The Future of CanadiEM

The editorial board endorsed a new mission/vision statement as follows:

CanadiEM aims to create a virtual community of practice for Canadian Emergency Medicine practitioners by producing and distributing high quality, freely available educational resources.

We have recommitted to the following key organizational values:

  • Open Education: Investing and contributing to the Free Open-Access Medical Education (FOAM) movement in innovative ways.
  • Mentorship and giving-back: Fostering the development of trainees within digital scholarship to ensure continuous organizational growth and dynamism. 
  • Collaboration: Continuing to strengthen and expand strategic alliances with large organizations in ways that streamline impact and sustainability.

Here are some highlights from the keynote talks:


Viewership Metrics (Patrick Boreskie)

CanadiEM continues to grow each year with 1.6 million users since the site launch in 2016. This year has not exactly been “typical” with the devastating COVID-19 pandemic hitting our shores in February and March. While COVID-19 spread, there was also a significant increase in the use of CanadiEM. Unique viewers peaked far outside typical ranges during February and March, perhaps bolstered by the releases of articles like “COVID-19 Fast Facts“, “Recommendations for COVID-19 Intubation: Infographic“, and the “CanadiEM Frontline Primer“. Interestingly, we even saw increased CanadiEM pageviews from specific international countries. For example, viewership from the Philippines increased by 156% in the 6 weeks after we started publishing COVID-19 blog posts. The increased views both at home and abroad have been particularly interesting to document and reinforce our belief that FOAM is well poised to meet the demands in emerging and up to date evidence.


Social Media Impact (Evan Formosa)

The social media branch of CanadiEM is responsible for promoting the blog’s content on social media platforms in a way that allows readers to be notified of our content and to grab the attention of potential new readers. We operate three social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, with over 15,000 followers across all platforms. We continue to explore new avenues to expand our social media presence with current interest in using Instagram to post short video clips highlighting various pieces of CanadiEM content. You can also get some of the best content from CanadiEM delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter!


Junior Editor program (Sonja Wakeling)

The Junior Editor Program began in 2016 and has engaged 81 Junior Editors (JEs) since that time. JEs copyedit, upload, and contribute medical resources to the CanadiEM website, engaging in additional responsibilities such as podcast editing/shownote creation and infographic design. A recent program evaluation was completed to understand the JEs experience with CanadiEM, which demonstrated that 82% felt their expectations had been met in their role and 43% felt they had developed their career in their role. This training program helps fill the gap in developing the next generation of editors and medical educators. Be sure to check out recent posts by our JEs, and also consider applying during the next round of applications!


Digital Scholars Fellowship (Fareen Zaver)

Intrigued by the above and really want to get involved? The Digital Scholars Fellowship is a 1 year longitudinal opportunity available to resident physicians or junior staff physicians who are looking to step up their game in digital scholarship. Since its launch in 2015, the fellowship has now graduated 5 scholars who have gone on to do groundbreaking work nationally and internationally! 

Fellowship objectives:

  1. To develop innovative educators with extensive hands on training across digital education formats.
  2. To learn how to apply medical education theory to online learning formats.
  3. To build a strong digital identity.
  4. To collaborate with and receive mentorship from experienced digital educators from across North America.

5 modules:

  1. Blogging
  2. Podcasting
  3. Digital Identity
  4. Patient Communication
  5. Translational Teachers

What you need to apply: 

Letter of interest & letter of endorsement from your program director (if in residency). 



Although CanadiEM is only four years old, it has already become a large and growing online community. Just like any organization, CanadiEM is only as good as the people who are part of it. CanadiEM has always held an organizational model where we welcome individuals who are self-motivated and want to make their mark within the FOAM world. We commit to working with people to develop skills and then help to share their success. There will always be room for committed and motivated individuals to join our team. The many accomplishments that have happened to date have laid a groundwork for the future of CanadiEM, and there is a lot of exciting work ahead!

This post was copyedited and uploaded by Parnian Pardis.

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).
- 5 hours ago

Fareen Zaver MD

Fareen Zaver is an Emergency Physician based in Calgary. She is the Co-Director for the CanadiEM Digital Scholars Fellowship and is the Lead Editor/Co-Founder of ALiEM Approved Instructional Resources - Professional (AIR-Pro) series
- 5 days ago

Evan Formosa

Evan is an Emergency Medicine resident at the University of Saskatchewan. Evan is the Director of Social Media for CanadiEM and is responsible for the social media dissemination of CanadiEM content.

Latest posts by Evan Formosa (see all)

Patrick Boreskie

Dr. Patrick Boreskie is a chief Emergency Medicine resident at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. He is a CanadiEM Digital Scholars Fellow and International Conference on Residency Education Chief Resident. He has a particular interest in knowledge translation, gerontology, and ultrasound.
- 1 month ago

Latest posts by Patrick Boreskie (see all)

Sonja Wakeling

Sonja is a PGY-2 in Emergency Medicine at McMaster University and a Junior Editor with CanadiEM. Her academic interests include medical education (with a budding interest in simulation), quality improvement, and resource utilization. If you can’t find her in the resus or trauma bay of her local ED, she may be tending to her growing houseplant collection or cycling along the excellent paths in Hamilton
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.
- 3 days ago

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.
- 43 mins ago