About Michelle Lin, MD

ALiEM Founder and CEO
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco

EM Match Advice 42: Mid Interview Season Check-In

EM Match Advice featuring Dr Aaron KrautDr. Sara Krzyzaniak (podcast host and Stanford University PD) and Dr. Michelle Lin (ALiEM Founder/UCSF) are joined by Dr. Aaron Kraut (University of Wisconsin PD) in this insightful, rapid-fire, practical episode through the lens of experienced residency program directors.

  • What does the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) preliminary data show just far for the 2024 residency application season?
  • Has the program signaling option been working? 
  • Have there been any surprises or changes during interview season?
  • What should students think about in the post-interview stage? 

Episode 42: Mid Interview Season Check-In


Preliminary ERAS Data for Emergency Medicine Residency

Number of Applicants for EM Residency

Graduate TypeERAS 2023ERAS 2024


Average Number of Applications per Person*

Graduate TypeERAS 2023ERAS 2024


Average Number of Applicants per EM Residency Program*

Graduate TypeERAS 2023ERAS 2024


* Values were rounded to whole numbers


Mentioned Links

  1. Preiksaitis C, Krzyzaniak S, Bowers K, et al. Characteristics of Emergency Medicine Residency Programs With Unfilled Positions in the 2023 Match. Ann Emerg Med. 2023;82(5):598-607. doi:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2023.06.002. PMID 37436344
  2. Jewell C, David T, Kraut A, Hess J, Westergaard M, Schnapp BH. Post-interview Thank-you Communications Influence Both Applicant and Residency Program Rank Lists in Emergency Medicine. West J Emerg Med. 2019 Dec 9;21(1):96-101. doi: 10.5811/westjem.2019.10.44031. PMID: 31913827; PMCID: PMC6948692.

Read and Listen to the Other EM Match Advice Episodes

Blog posts: https://www.aliem.com/em-match-advice-series/


By |2024-01-04T22:44:07-08:00Jan 5, 2024|EM Match Advice, Medical Student, Podcasts|

EM Match Advice 41: The 2024 ERAS Application – New and Improved

em match advice podcast new eras applicationDr. Sara Krzyzaniak (EM program director at Stanford) hosts this episode with Dr. Michelle Lin (ALiEM/UCSF) featuring all-star guests Dr. Alexis Pelletier-Bui (EM associate program director at Cooper University Hospital) and Dr. Elizabeth Werley (Chair of CORD Application Process Improvement Committee, Penn State Hershey). Both our guests serve as key representatives on behalf of the EM specialty on the AAMC ERAS Supplemental Application Working Group and provide you with a sneak peek behind what is coming for the totally revamped ERAS application for the new 2024 application season.

It will be helpful to download and view the advanced copy of the entire ERAS application while listening to this episode, as we dive into the nuts and bolts of completing the application. 

Episode 41: New ERAS Application


Useful Links

Read and Listen to the Other EM Match Advice Episodes

Blog posts: https://www.aliem.com/em-match-advice-series/


By |2024-01-04T16:11:31-08:00Jul 24, 2023|EM Match Advice, Medical Student, Podcasts|

EM Match Advice 40: Program Directors Reflect on the 2023 Match

em match advice series - episode 40 PD's reflect on 2023 match

The 2023 Emergency Medicine Match was an unprecedented year that took many of us in the education community by surprise. There were 132 (46%) EM residency programs with at least one unfilled PGY-1 position, and there were 554 (18.4%) overall unfilled EM positions. Dr. Sara Krzyzaniak (EM program director at Stanford) hosts this important episode with Dr. Michelle Lin (ALiEM/UCSF), reflecting on the whys, hows, and what nexts. Fortunately we have experts Dr. Abra Fant (Northwestern PD) and Dr. Richard Church (University of Massachusetts PD) to help us with a deeper dive and forecasting the future.

Episode 40: Reflections on 2023 Match

The Slide: How Competitive was the 2023 EM Match?

The Slide: EM Match 2023 and Historical Data

How Competitive Were Other Specialties in the 2023 Match?

EM Match Advice Competitive of Other Specialties 2023


  • Marco CA, Courtney DM, Ling LJ, et al. The Emergency Medicine Physician Workforce: Projections for 2030. Ann Emerg Med. 2021;78(6):726-737. doi:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2021.05.029
  • Gettel CJ, Courtney DM, Janke AT, Rothenberg C, Mills AM, Sun W, Venkatesh AK. The 2013 to 2019 Emergency Medicine Workforce: Clinician Entry and Attrition Across the US Geography. Ann Emerg Med. 2022 Sep;80(3):260-271. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2022.04.031. Epub 2022 Jun 16. PMID: 35717274; PMCID: PMC9398978.


Read and Listen to the Other EM Match Advice Episodes

Blog posts: https://www.aliem.com/em-match-advice-series/


By |2023-05-16T15:24:48-07:00May 17, 2023|EM Match Advice|

EM Match Advice 39: Mailbag Q&A as a Mid-Interview Season Check-In

The holiday season is soon ending, but the residency interview season is only at the half-way point. Based on your recently submitted questions, you are encountering unforeseen dilemmas about navigating the interview and post-interview season. Dr. Sara Krzyzaniak (EM program director at Stanford) hosts this quick Mailbag Q&A episode with Dr. Michelle Lin (ALiEM Founder/UCSF) and featuring the ever-wise Dr. Matt Pirotte (EM program director at Vanderbilt). We discuss the nuances around:

  • Preference signaling
  • Writing letters or emails of interest
  • Meaningfully connecting with busy program directors

We also answer the perennial question of “Really, how important IS the interview in my overall application?”

Thank you to EM program directors from Wisconsin, Northwestern, Denver, University of Virginia, University of Massachusetts, St. Johns Riverside, Loyola, St Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, Mount Sinai-Elmhurst, Maimonides, Brookdale, University of Chicago, and Hackensack, who also contributed their insights and answers to your questions.

Match Advice Podcast 39: Mailbag Q&A



Jewell C, David T, Kraut A, Hess J, Westergaard M, Schnapp BH. Post-interview Thank-you Communications Influence Both Applicant and Residency Program Rank Lists in Emergency Medicine. West J Emerg Med. 2019;21(1):96-101. 2019 Dec 9. doi:10.5811/westjem.2019.10.44031. [Open access link]

Read and Listen to the Other EM Match Advice Episodes

Blog posts: https://www.aliem.com/em-match-advice-series/



By |2022-12-29T22:55:52-08:00Dec 30, 2022|EM Match Advice|

EM Match Advice Podcast: Mid-Interview Season Check-In | We want to hear from you

EM Match Advice questions We are at the mid-point of the academic year and smack in the middle of residency interview season for EM-bound medical students. Look at how far you’ve come since your first interview! As you stare down the finish line of the interview season, the questions you now have are likely different than those in September. We are just checking in with you and want to hear from YOU. This is the first time we are hosting a Q&A episode. What questions do you have about the EM residency match process? Dr. Sara Krzyzaniak (EM Match Advice host and Stanford EM residency director) and Dr. Matthew Pirotte (Vanderbilt EM residency director) are going to answer many submitted questions in our next podcast.

  • Deadline for question submission: December 6, 2022 by 5 pm PST
  • Anticipated podcast release: Mid-December 2022

We would also love to hear how you are doing, what you have learned, and what advice you would like to share with us for future applicants. We look forward to hearing your thoughts, dilemmas, and questions. Good luck out there.

Read and Listen to the Other EM Match Advice Episodes

Blog posts: https://www.aliem.com/em-match-advice-series/

By |2022-11-28T12:19:53-08:00Nov 29, 2022|EM Match Advice|

The Fall of FOAM

Fork in Road Disappearance of FOAM blog podcast

The landscape of emergency medicine and critical care (EM/CC) blogs and podcasts has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. The number of free, open-access EM/CC blogs and podcasts has plummeted. As reported by Lin and colleagues in JMIR Education (2022), these sites decreased in number from 183 in 2014 to just 109 this year– a drop of 40.1% [1].


This comes after a period of rapid growth of these educational resources in the late 2000’s [2], with expectations that new sites would continue to come online. It is unclear when the combined number of EM/CC blogs and podcasts peaked, or how recently it declined.

Why do we care in these declining numbers?

The FOAM (free open-access medical education) movement has become an important component of EM curricula at many training programs. Online learning resources such as medical blogs and podcasts have all but replaced traditional textbooks, and research suggests that some trainees use these products as their primary study materials [3]. Therefore, the observed decrease in FOAM sites is alarming, as training programs and trainees have come to rely on their availability.

Featured paper

In our JMIR Medical Education paper, Lin et al. sought to identify active EM/CC blogs and podcasts during a 2-week period in May 2022. The authors found a total of 50 blogs, 25 podcasts, and 34 blogs + podcasts (n=109). The age of these FOAM sites ranged from 1-18 years and most were physician-led. Just over half had leadership teams of 5 or more individuals. Support was identified for approximately 75% of the sites and included advertisements, institutional sponsorship, or the sale of goods and services (though site access remained free).

The Christensen Theory of Disruptive Innovation may explain the recent decline in EM/CC blogs and podcasts. Using this lens, FOAM sites are considered ‘disruptors’ in medical education that quickly gained market share previously dominated by ‘incumbents’ such as medical textbooks, journals, and in-person conferences. Rather than cede their influence, incumbent organizations co-opted the disruptive innovation itself, in this case leveraging their assets to create their own online learning resources, blogs, and podcasts. As these incumbent offerings grew, there was less need for new, independent FOAM sites. Concurrently, FOAM sites continue to generate little-to-no revenue and academic value for the creators, making it difficult for the disruptors to challenge the market dominance of incumbents or to create its own unique, sustainable market space. We theorize that older sites likely succumbed to these financial and academic opportunity costs as well as high user expectations for design and functionality.

What is the future of FOAM?

Though EM/CC blogs and podcasts changed the landscape of medical education in fundamental ways, they will likely not endure as independent entities without new business models for sustainability. A recent study suggests that the costs of FOAM might be offset by advertising or other revenues [4]. Based on our observations of current practices on existing FOAM sites, this might include at least incorporating any/all of the following:

  1. Inserting advertisements
  2. Creating products for sale such as books, courses, swag, or consulting services
  3. Developing partnerships
  4. Soliciting for donations

In the meantime, we posit one of 3 potential futures of new and existing blogs and podcasts: hybridization, disappearance, and new-market independence.

future of foam christensen

  1. Hybridization strategy: Incumbents partner with or create their own blogs/podcasts. This loss of independence, which was part of the initial appeal of FOAM grassroots efforts, is traded for more stability and infrastructure. Already 44% of EM blogs are officially affiliated with a sponsoring institution.
  2. Continued disappearance of sites: Progressively fewer independent, free blogs/podcasts because of site demise, merging of sites, or conversion to paid subscription model
  3. Independent sustainability: Growth of independent, free blogs/podcasts as its own new-market endeavor, separate from the incumbent market space, only achievable with better return on investments (academically and financially) for bloggers/podcasters. Once FOAM efforts are no longer a major opportunity cost, educators may even be able to pivot their careers towards this primarily, rather than as a side project.

It remains to be seen whether FOAM can withstand market and academic pressures or whether it is destined to be assimilated by better-resourced incumbent organizations.

What is the future of ALiEM?

We hope to stick around and hope the rest of the FOAM community will evolve with us.


Join the interesting discussion on Twitter. We are thrilled to bring this conversation to the forefront.



  1. Lin M, Phipps M, Yilmaz Y, Nash CJ, Gisondi MA, Chan TM. A Fork in the Road: Mapping the Paths of Emergency Medicine and Critical Care Blogs and Podcasts. JMIR Medical Education. 2022 (preprint available: https://doi.org/10.2196/39946)
  2. Cadogan M, Thoma B, Chan TM, 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-e77. doi:10.1136/emermed-2013-203502
  3. Branzetti J, Commissaris C, Croteau C, et al. The Best Laid Plans? A Qualitative Investigation of How Resident Physicians Plan Their Learning [published online ahead of print, 2022 May 24]. Acad Med. 2022; doi:10.1097/ACM.0000000000004751
  4. Lee M, Hamilton D, Chan TM. Cost of free open-access medical education (FOAM): An economic analysis of the top 20 FOAM sites. AEM Educ Train. 2022;6(5):e10795. Published 2022 Sep 9. doi:10.1002/aet2.10795

EM Match Advice 38: Our 2 Cents | The Revamped Standardized Letter of Evaluation (SLOE) is here

EM Match Advice 2 cents episode on SLOE Standardized Letter of Evaluation

This is the 38th episode of EM Match Advice but the inaugural episode for new podcast series host, Dr. Sara Krzyzaniak (program director at Stanford EM residency program)! This quick podcast episode was recorded to coincide with the new, much-anticipated release of the Standardized Letter of Evaluation (SLOE 2.0). We address questions of why the changes, and what is different. In this podcast, Dr. Krzyzaniak and Dr. Michelle Lin speak with 2 key faculty who helped lead the multi-year development of this key piece of the residency application puzzle:

  • Dr. Sharon Bord (Johns Hopkins EM Clerkship Director, 2022-23 President of the Clerkship Directors in Emergency Medicine)
  • Dr. Doug Franzen (Washington University Associate Program Director)

EM Match Advice Podcast: Our 2 Cents about the new SLOE



View the ESLOE template


Read and Listen to the Other EM Match Advice Episodes

Blog posts: https://www.aliem.com/em-match-advice-series/


References and Additional Reading

  1. SLOE 2.0, CORD EM website, July 2021
  2. A Path Forward–practical consensus on 2021-2022 EM advising. CORD EM website, April 2021.


By |2022-07-19T08:52:30-07:00Jul 19, 2022|EM Match Advice, Podcasts|
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