Why create the AIR Series?

We created the Approved Instructional Resources (AIR) series because we have observed residencies struggle in evaluating which blog posts and podcasts are appropriate and high quality for resident education. Often residents independently access FOAM resources available online, but do not receive training credit for this. We seek to use our expertise to bridge this divide by assisting residency programs to promote asynchronous learning, online education, as well as reward residents who already effectively utilize FOAM resources.

The AIR Faculty Team

Bryant Allen, MD
Associate Professor of EM
Assistant Residency Program Director
Carolinas Medical Center

Chris Belcher, MD
Assistant Professor of EM
Assistant Residency Director
University of Kentucky

Jeremy Branzetti, MD
Assistant Professor of EM
Residency Program Director
New York University Langone Health

Katrina D’Amore, DO, MPH
St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center

Chris Gaafary, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of EM
Emergency Medicine
School of Medicine Greenville
Prisma Health

Moises Gallegos, MD, MPH
Clinical Assistant Professor of EM
Clerkship Director
Stanford University

Jacob Hennings, MD, MS
Clinical Assistant Professor of EM
Director of Simulation
Medical Student Course Director
University of Tennessee College of Medicine

Jessica Hoglund, MD
Assistant Professor of EM
Carolinas Medical Center

Shane Jennings, MD, MA
Associate Professor of EM
Program Director & Medical Education Fellowship
University of Texas Southwestern

Jaime Jordan, MD, MAEd
Associate Professor of Clinical EM
Associate Residency Program Director
Vice Chair, Acute Care College
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Jay Khadpe, MD
Associate Professor of EM
Associate Residency Program Director
University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville

Steven Lai, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical EM
Assistant Residency Program Director
Co-Director, Medical Education and Simulation Fellowship
Olive View UCLA | Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Alice Min Simpkins, MD
Associate Professor of EM
University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson

Lynn Roppollo, MD
Professor of EM
Ultrasound Section
Director of Resident Scholarly Activity
University of Texas Southwestern

Eric Morley, MD MHA MS
Associate Professor of EM
Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs and Clinical Director
Deputy CMIO
Renaissance School of Medicine
Stony Brook University

Marco Prosperi, DO, FAAEM
Clinical Assistant Professor of EM
St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center
Board of Directors, New Jersey-ACEP

Kaushal Shah, MD
Associate Professor of EM
Vice Chair of Education
NYP-Weill Cornell Medical Center

Wes Trueblood, MD
Assistant Professor
San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium

Natasha Wheaton, MD
Associate Residency Program Director
Assistant Clinical Professor of EM
Olive View-UCLA Medical Center

In 2008, the Council of Residency Directors (CORD) in Emergency Medicine as well as the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) endorsed a change in the education hours requirements for residencies. Previously, five hours of educational conference time was required per week. The new recommendation allows residencies to decrease their conference time to four hours per week with an additional one hour of documented asynchronous learning outside the classroom. This asynchronous learning opportunity has been termed Individualized Interactive Instruction (III).

More specifically, the 4 III criteria are the following:

  1. The program director must monitor resident participation. – We provide PDs administrative access to the Educator Dashboard on ALiEMU, the learning management platform for the AIR Series.
  2. There must be an evaluation component. – We have a post-module quiz.
  3. There must be faculty oversight. – We have faculty who are automatically emailed whenever there is a comment placed in the blog. If there is a question, we reply in a timely fashion.
  4. The activity must be monitored for effectiveness. – We have an internal QI process as well as a post-module survey to incorporate learner feedback.

We thus feel that this ALiEM AIR Series abides by these III requirements.

A 18-person AIR faculty team reviews numerous FOAM resources and scores each on an objective grading system designed for this series. We curate relevant posts from top blogs and podcasts, as graded by the Social Media Index, with the inclusion criteria of publication date within the past 12 months. If this list of posts is insufficient, we broaden to a longer time interval. We do not claim an exhaustively comprehensive search, but feel that we ultimately highlight quality posts for residency education.

The cumulative highest scoring posts from each module are selected. To decrease any obvious bias, members of the Executive Board recuse themselves from evaluating posts they wrote or were directly involved in writing. Our scoring tool looks at five measurement outcomes, each using a Likert 7-point scale:

  • BEEM Score
  • Content Accuracy
  • Educational Utility
  • Evidence Based Medicine
  • Referenced

In an effort to truly emphasize the highest quality posts, we have now adjusted our selections into two subsets. The AIR stamp of approval will only be given to posts scoring above a new, strict scoring cut-off of ≥30 points (out of 35 total), based on our scoring instrument. The other subset is for “Honorable Mention” posts. These posts have been flagged by and agreed upon by AIR Board members as worthwhile to highlight regardless of the point score (but still reflect accurate, appropriately referenced, and unbiased content). All posts will still be part of the quiz needed to obtain III credit.

The actual grading instrument can be viewed in this AIR Series Grading Tool PDF.

Go to the ALiEMU Courses page (filtered for AIR Series only) to take all the courses and quizzes. Of note, we will be retiring courses if they are older than 3 years for the sake of content accuracy, as evidence evolves over time. As of January 2021, over 35,000 certificates have been awarded for AIR courses.

Please speak with your program director about this possibility. If you are told that the AIR series is approved for credit, complete the end-of-module quiz and your participation will be tracked. Of course, you are always welcome to take the quiz for your own learning purposes.

Updated January 2021:

Please read more on coaching and our Educator Dashboard. Please contact us if you have any questions, comments or concerns.

The AIR Series is generously support and sponsored by the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine and the Council of EM Residency Directors.

Andrew Grock, MD

Andrew Grock, MD

Lead Editor/Co-Founder of ALiEM Approved Instructional Resources (AIR)
Faculty Physician, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
UCLA Emergency Medicine Department
Nikita Joshi, MD

Nikita Joshi, MD

ALiEM Chief People Officer and Associate Editor
Clinical Instructor
Department of Emergency Medicine
Stanford University
Nikita Joshi, MD


Emergency Medicine Doctor Associate Editor of ALiEM Gun Sense Advocate #FOAMed #Docs4GunSense #MomsDemandAction Tweets represent my own views and opinions