Free Electronic EM Textbook Set for 2016 Release

Published on April 18, 2016
Now nearly two years in the making, and with over 100 international contributors and IFEM assistance, this project aims to be the first electronic EM textbook geared toward medical students. And it’s free.

Emergency medicine textbook resources for medical students can be difficult to come by; the majority of online or hardcopy clinical sources are too advanced for many students in their various EM rotations through their 3rd or 4th years. Many available resources are also too expensive for medical students. Even Free Open Access Medical Education (FOAM) resources in the field of EM can be too advanced for the students’ needs, too. Enter the iEmergency Medicine for Medical Students and Interns Project. This project was first conceived in May 2014 with an aim to improve the learning experience of medical students and interns during their EM rotation, demonstrate the enthusiasm in the global EM community, and encourage them to choose EM as a career.

In October 2014, we announced the project and then the International Federation for Emergency Medicine (IFEM) took on a supervising and collaborative role. Since then, we have secured approximately 114 contributors to the textbook from all around the world, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The iEmergency Medicine for Medical Students and Interns Project will include 124 chapters, the majority of which are related to IFEM’s medical student curricula. Although most of the textbook reflects the IFEM curriculum, curriculum from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) and individual contributors’ recommendations were also considered when shaping the chapters and have added a great deal of value to this project.

Today, we are in the stage of scientific content review for all the chapters. We are expecting to publish the iBook in iTunes University and open it to the world of EM as a free iBook for medical students on or before September 1st, 2016.

Creating a non-profit international e-book has not come without challenges. First of all, the lack of a dedicated secretariat or administrative staff, coupled with our own daily workload, meant that e-book editorial duties depended entirely on our available free time. This required a great deal of commitment from volunteers. In addition, receiving contributions from different continents and relatively different EM education backgrounds made standardization difficult. That said, having so many different flavors from all around the world was one of the main goals of this goodwill project, along with using collaboration and shared knowledge as a way of promoting and sharing EM with medical students all around the globe.

This project revealed many exciting and positive opportunities, as well. First of all, knowing and collaborating with a number of EM professionals from different continents is a priceless experience for us. In addition to this, having a chance to learn and understand e-book technology was amazing. One of the interesting things we realized during this process was that non of the available medical e-books seem to have narration for users. How I wish I could have had Judith Tintinalli’s textbook, for example, with narration while I was a resident, listening to a chapter in my car on my way to or from the hospital. Therefore, we are planning to complete native English language narration for all chapters before or during early 2017. We think this will give students more chances to “read” or listen to more chapters, and we think it will definitely improve learning.

In addition to written material, the book will contain links, clinical videos, pictures and quizzes. But beyond these categories, there are a limitless number of ways to get involved as a contributor. If you are interested in contributing in any way, it’s not too late: please contact us at

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