CFOAM stands for Correctional Free Open Access Medicine.  These are the online sites that provide excellent, free medical education relevant to Correctional Medicine. CFOAM seeks to gather together in one place those blogs, lectures, podcasts, tweets, Google hangouts, online videos, text documents, photographs, Facebook groups and anything else that can aid and educate practitioners of Correctional Medicine. Do you know of such a site? Send it on!
Bloggin’ For Your Noggin, Nursing education

Ted Talks

Ted Talks. Ted Talks is a large (over 1700 and counting) collection of video lectures on nearly every topic you can imagine. What is especially cool about this site is the time limit. The speakers have 18 minutes—no more—to make their point. Ted Talks has Nobel Laureates and celebrities among their speakers, but it doesn’t matter how important or famous you are. 18 minutes, period. They obviously also screen for quality, as well. I’ve listened to several of these, and they are really good. The link I have provided is to the browse screen. You can easily use the topic button to pull up the lectures about medicine, or prisons. Once you get started, I guarantee that you will range far afield—the content is vast.

Khan Academy

The Khan Academy. You may have already heard about the Khan Academy; it has gotten quite a lot of press. The Khan Academy’s mission is to provide education online—for free. It is backed by the Bill Gates Foundation, so does not charge at all for its lectures, nor are there any annoying ads to wade through. Similar to Ted Talks, the lectures are short: most are less than 10 minutes. The site has more than 4,800 lectures on a wide variety of topics. Their medical partner, assigned the responsibility of coming up with the medical content is the Stanford School of Medicine. The medical lectures are few in number (so far!) but very good.


Infographics is a way of representing information visually with the idea that, by combining visual images with written information, readers can retain more in their memory. I think it works. There are many excellent infographics available on the internet. Here are three cool medical and correctional infographics that have come my way recently. These were created as a way of attracting visitors to their respective websites. But you can find many others by simply using your browser to search for “medical infographics.”

The Aging Prison Population.

A Visual History of Medicine.

Overmedicated Americans.

One Minute Medical School

One Minute Medical School 
I don’t know when I last ran across a site that was so fun! In this site, Dr. Rob Trazwell of the University of British Columbia summarizes various medical topics by drawing pictures on a white board and narrating the underlying principles. The key, though, is that he does all of these in about 60 seconds. It is amazing how much information he can pack into that meager minute. Miss something important? Watch it again! It will only take a minute!

Common Sense Family Doctor

Common Sense Family Doctor 
This excellent blog is written by Dr. Kenny Lin, who practices family medicine in Washington DC. He is not afraid to tackle controversial issues. And since he is such a good writer, his articles are both fun and interesting. Check out Why don’t clinicians discuss cancer screening harms?

Therapeutics Initiative

Therapeutics Initiative: Evidence Based Drug Therapy 
The Therapeutics Initiative has as its mission “to provide physicians and pharmacists with up-to-date, evidence-based, practical information on prescription drug therapy.” Their reports are timely and interesting. For example, Is use of quetiapine for sleep evidence based? Answer: No. So why is it so often done?

One thought on “CFOAM

  1. Charles

    I recently surveyed a facility that was using Tylenol #3 on pregnant patients until they were seen in a Methadone Clinic. At the last NCCHC conference, there was discussion about such a practice. Some felt T3 should not be used. What is the felling about using T3 on a short term basis, over a week-end, on pregnant inmates? If opposed, what are alternatives?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *