greatest hits for interns

Congratulations, you’ve made it! On July 1, thousands of medical students across the country made the transition to becoming Emergency Medicine residents. It was a particularly competitive year for Emergency Medicine, with 99.7% of first-year spots filled despite a whopping 2,047 positions being offered in 2017 (up by 152 spots compared to last year).1 Now begins the most crucial 3 or 4 years of your medical training that will prepare you for the rest of your career in Emergency Medicine.

“The mere possession of a diploma does not endow one with extraordinary knowledge on all possible medical subjects.” – Dr. William Mayo

Our specialty requires a vast knowledge base and skill set — Your patients will require the absolute best of your abilities to get them through their most vulnerable moments. Although you are undoubtedly experiencing feelings of excitement and endless possibilities, the thought of the sheer amount of knowledge required over the course of residency can be overwhelming especially when you’re just beginning your training.

You’re probably asking yourself, “Where do I begin”?

You’re not alone. Thankfully, you are training in the age of Free Open Access Medical Education (#FOAMed) where advancements in medicine are being shared worldwide at an unprecedented rate and active online discussions are connecting physicians across the globe with a common goal of improving patient care. However, the vast amount of medical resources available online can be daunting to navigate and sift through when starting out.

Below is a curated selection of high-yield ALiEM posts that will help you as you begin your training in the field of Emergency Medicine — ALiEM’s “Greatest Hits for Interns” if you will. These hand-picked posts are what I would consider to be essential material that will help you rock those first few anxiety-provoking months in the Emergency Department. This is in no way an exhaustive list of FOAMed resources, but rather an initial starting point. It is not meant to be a replacement for a solid foundation of Emergency Medicine but rather a complementary adjunct to your core residency curriculum.

Good luck on your journey through residency, and never stop learning!

“The glory of medicine is that it is constantly moving forward, that there is always more to learn.” – Dr. William Mayo, 1928

ALiEM’s Greatest Hits for Interns

The Basics

  1. Top 10 Secrets to Success as an Emergency Medicine Resident
  2. Dear Residents: 10 Things Your New Chiefs Want You to Know 
  3. A Starter’s Roadmap to EM Resources: Books, Websites, and Apps
  4. Best mobile apps for the Emergency Department 
  5. ALiEM In-Training Exam Prep Book: Emergency Medicine
  6. Introduction to ED Charting and Coding
  7. Pitfalls and Perils of Emergency Department Discharge Instructions 


  1. Demystifiying How ECGs Work
  2. ECG Rate, Rhythm, Axis
  3. ECG Intervals and Segments
  4. Early repolarization vs STEMI on ECG


  1. MEdIC series: The Case of the Difficult Consult 
  2. MEdIC Series: The Case of the Justified Junior 

Critical Care

  1. ABG interpretation
  2. AIR Pro Series: Critical Care, Part 1 
  3. Sepsis in Older Adults: The Presentation May Be Subtle


  1. Diagnostic Testing Tips for Acute Abdominal Pain
  2. 10 Tips for Approaching Abdominal Pain in the Elderly
  3. Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding: Evidence-Based Treatment 


  1. How to Remember the GCS Scoring
  2. Clinical Decision Rule for Subarachnoid Hemorrhage



  1. PECARN Pediatric Head Trauma: Official Visual Decision Aid for Clinicians
  2. Calming Techniques While Repairing a Laceration
  3. Pediatric Sepsis Management – Understanding the Basics
  4. Prolonged Fever in Pediatric Patients – When Should You Worry? 


  1. Procedural Sedation & Analgesia in the ED 
  2. Pharmacology of Emergency Airway Management
  3. Top 8 Must-Know EM Pharmacotherapy Articles of 2016
  4. 5 Tips for Managing Pain in Older Adults


  1. Laceration Repair and Sutures – A Cheat Sheet Guide
  2. Trick of the Trade: Incision and Loop Drainage of Abscesses


  1. AIR-Pro: Toxicology (Part 1) 
  2. ‘Treat and Release’ after Naloxone – What is the Risk of Death?


  1. Ultrasound For The Win! Case – 101M with Altered Mental Status 
  2. Ultrasound For The Win! Case – 39F with Chest Pain
  3. Ultrasound For The Win! Case – 30M with Blunt Abdominal Trauma 


  1. We are the Residents and Faculty at Saint Louis University and Washington University: How We Stay Healthy in EM 
  2. Wellness and Resiliency During Residency: Work-Life Balancing Act 
  3. Wellness and Resiliency During Residency: EM is a Career with Unresolved Stories 
Press Release: 2017 NRMP Main Residency Match the Largest Match on Record – The Match, National Resident Matching Program. The Match, National Resident Matching Program. Published March 17, 2017. Accessed July 20, 2017.

Jeffrey Shih, MD, RDMS

Director, Emergency Ultrasound Fellowship Program
Scarborough Health Network;
Editor, Ultrasound for the Win Series
Academic Life in Emergency Medicine


I'm Director of Emergency Ultrasound Fellowship @ TSH ER Doc @UofT @SickKidsNews. Author of @Yale @MayoClinicEM Alum. LITFL & @ALiEMteam Editor