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Social-media-enabled learning in emergency medicine: a case study of the growth, engagement and impact of a free open access medical education blog
  1. Simon Carley1,
  2. Iain Beardsell2,
  3. Natalie May3,
  4. Liz Crowe4,
  5. Janos Baombe1,
  6. Alan Grayson1,
  7. Richard Carden5,
  8. Ashley Liebig6,
  9. Chris Gray1,
  10. Ross Fisher7,
  11. Daniel Horner8,
  12. Laura Howard1,
  13. Richard Body9
  1. 1 Emergency Department, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
  2. 2 Department of Emergency Medicine, University Hospital Southampton, Southampton, UK
  3. 3 Ambulance Service New South Wales Rescue Helicopter Base, New South Wales, Australia
  4. 4 Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  5. 5 Emergency Department, Royal London Hospital, London, UK
  6. 6 STAR Flight, Austin, Texas, USA
  7. 7 Department of Paediatric Surgery, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  8. 8 Emergency Department, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Salford, UK
  9. 9 Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Simon Carley, Emergency Department, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester M13 9WL, UK; simon.carley{at}


Background Clinicians are increasingly using social media for professional development and education. In 2012, we developed the St.Emlyn’s blog, an open access resource dedicated to providing free education in the field of emergency medicine.

Objective To describe the development and growth of this international emergency medicine blog.

Method We present a narrative description of the development of St.Emlyn’s blog. Data on scope, impact and engagement were extracted from WordPress, Twitter and Google Analytics.

Results The St.Emlyn’s blog demonstrates a sustained growth in size and user engagement. Since inception in 2012, the site has been viewed over 1.25 million times with a linear year-on-year growth. We have published over 500 blog posts, each of which attracts a mean of 2466 views (range 382–69 671). The site has been viewed in nearly every country in the world, although the majority (>75%) of visitors come from the USA, UK and Australia.

Summary This case study of an emergency medicine blog quantifies the reach and engagement of social-media-enabled learning in emergency medicine.

  • FOAMed
  • social media
  • medical education
  • emergency medicine

Statistics from


  • Contributors This paper was initially conceived and written by SC. All authors were subsequently involved in the revision and final approval of the manuscript. All authors were involved in the conception, design, publication, review and analysis of data on the St. Emlyn’s site.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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