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Emerg Med Australas. 2015 Aug;27(4):363-5. doi: 10.1111/1742-6723.12404. Epub 2015 May 4. A custom search engine for emergency medicine and critical care.

Raine T1, Thoma B2,3,4, Chan TM4,5, Lin M4,6.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Learning Laboratory and Division of Medical Simulation, Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Emergency Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
MedEdLIFE Research Collaborative, San Francisco, California, USA.
Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.


The number of online resources read by and pertinent to clinicians has increased dramatically. However, most healthcare professionals still use mainstream search engines as their primary port of entry to the resources on the Internet. These search engines use algorithms that do not make it easy to find clinician-oriented resources. FOAMSearch, a custom search engine (CSE), was developed to find relevant, high-quality online resources for emergency medicine and critical care (EMCC) clinicians. Using Googleâ„¢ algorithms, it searches a vetted list of >300 blogs, podcasts, wikis, knowledge translation tools, clinical decision support tools and medical journals. Utilisation has increased progressively to >3000 users/month since its launch in 2011. Further study of the role of CSEs to find medical resources is needed, and it might be possible to develop similar CSEs for other areas of medicine.


custom search engine, emergency medicine, medical education; search engine

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