Survey Says...

A HUGE Thank You!

First of all, I want to thank everyone who participated.  Some comments were challenging and really made me think.  Thanks to all who cared enough to shoot it straight with me!  There were 153 responses.  So the margin of error is about +/- 7%, so take this with a grain of salt.

I'm easy to reach if you have trouble.

  • BTW, some mentioned technical problems they have with the site or email.  I want to help you, but I don't know who you are.
  • Feel free to email me any time with a comment, problem, thought about an article, question about a patient or just to say hello!  I know a lot of you guys.  I'm serious.  Try it!  Reply to an email.  Unless I am asleep after night shift, which happens a lot, I will get right back with you personally!  This disclaimer - you are probably smarter at computers than me, especially if you are a resident.
  • I am not far away.  This is not a major corporation with layers of people before you reach the one making the decisions.  If you reply to any email or use the contact form on this site, I will try my best to help you with any technical glitches.

Where is EM Topics headed?

I don't want to ramble on here, but I promised to share a little more info about EM Topics and where I see it headed.  

Current state of EM Topics

  • As of 24 September 2016 we have 928 subscribers plus 81 weekend-only subscribers.  Not too shabby, considering we started in mid-June of this year!  Thanks to you all.  >60% of you are here by word of mouth!
  • On a given day, about 60% open the email.  This is really good compared to industry standards.
  • I want to call our EM Topics community Feeders.  Now, before you say that reminds you of an oyster (i.e. bottom-feeder), let me explain.  We are Feeders - all of us.  Feeder has a double meaning.  It could be one who feeds on something.  Or it could one who feeds another.  I like that!  We all have to be literature feeders to keep up.  But we turn right around and are feeders of that information to others - our patients, colleagues, trainees, students, families, etc.  Anyway, I am proud to be a part of this community of Feeders!

Where are we going?

  • Community  Right now I envision EM Topics as a growing community of Feeders - doctors and EM providers that want to give the best care to our patients and care about keeping up with EM literature.  I want to build on the community aspect.  We need to intentionally help each other as we do the daunting job of keeping up.  Ideas?
  • Work/Life  I absolutely love doing it!  It is really fun for me.  And so far it's been a pretty good work/home balance.
    It looks like from your comments that most of you like it too, which is really gratifying.
    I hope it helps you with your work/life balance, so you can spend a little less time poring over journals.
    As we grow and possibly expand, we may need to look into funding some of the effort.  FOAM is great, and funding can help keep FOAM free.  Since almost 30% of you think ads are a bad idea (see Q12), then I am definitely leaning away from that.  So I will mull this over and try to get creative.  Any advice is most welcome.  And thanks to those who've already shared some wise words!
  • Growth  BTW, remember that annoying pop-up you closed when this page came up...would you consider sharing EM Topics with a friend?  99% of you said you were likely or very likely to recommend it to a friend.  Here is an easy way that rewards you both!  What if 99% of you actually shared EM Topics by email or social media?  Whoa...

Q1 How did you hear about it?

39% heard about it from the initial email. 31% heard from a friend, 14% Twitter, etc.

Q2 Level of training

Most are residents (29%), next attending physicians in practice > 10 years (22%), and third are attending physicians in practice <5 years (17%) and then attending physicians in practice 5-10 years (14%). There are about 12% PA, NP, RN, PharmD, PhD; 3% each medical students and fellows.

Q3 Practice Setting

42% are in community practice, 32% residents, 17% in academics, 10% in other practice settings.

Q4 Why did you sign up?

The majority signed up because it is an easy way to keep up and it was free (68%). 15% had fear of not keeping up, and 14% tried it on the recommendation of a friend.

Q5 How long a subscriber?

64% have been subscribers 2-8 weeks. 28% for >8 weeks.


Q6 Educational quality

95% said the articles chosen were good or very good.  99% said the brief summaries were good or very good.

Most (79%) liked the links to other resources and found them good or very good.  About 11% didn’t use links to additional resources.

83% liked the Saturday Summary and found it good or very good.


Brief Summaries


Sat. Summary


Q7 Please rate the following:

99% were likely or very likely to recommend.

57% were likely to change practice in a given week based on something they read, 5% very likely, 30% indifferent, 7% unlikely, 0% very unlikely..

85% are likely or very likely to read pediatric specific topics.


Change Practice?

Read Peds?

Q8 How long to read?

57% read it in under 60 seconds, 32% in under 120 seconds.

Q9 What else used to keep up?

36% use EM:RAP, 32% Life in the Fast Lane, 13% Journal Watch, 10% use EM Abstracts, 10% other.

Q10 What other topics?

PEM and Critical Care dominated, each with about 30% who would like to see expansion to these topics.

Q11 Other features?

37% would like to see a list of Top Articles each year, and 34% would like emails occasionally discussing Landmark articles. Only about 16% wanted audio; 11% video.

Q12 What about ads?

63% were indifferent to ads in the emails. But 27% found ads unfavorable or strongly unfavorable. 10% actually wanted ads and found them favorable or highly favorable.


Q13 What will make EM Topics better?

My favorites are:

  • Peer reviewing comments and final recommendations.
  • Make sure articles are practice changing, not just interesting.
  • Don’t inject my opinions so much based on our local practices/protocols at Vanderbilt. (Ouch…but I asked for it!  If the shoe fits…)
  • Do a podcast.
  • Some wanted more in the Saturday Summary than just a recap, perhaps a landmark article; some want to opt out of Saturday emails.
  • A cool case of the week submitted by subscribers.
  • Many said they like it as is.
  • Myth buster section, question of the week submitted by the community, or understanding the literature section.


Q14 Getting the word out

  • Many said to get thought leaders on Twitter to tweet about it.
  • Many also said to get it mentioned on EM:RAP or be on EM:RAP myself.  We shall see...
  • Some said to display at EM conferences.
  • Others said to email an invite to all the residencies and try to get on EMRA.
    (I tried to get on EMRA's link page.  Maybe the EM Topics community could recommend it?  They may listen to you guys.)
  • Have other sites link to it.
  • Hook residents; they will be followers for life.
  • Invite a friend competition. Have benefits for people who share it and their friends sign up.
  • Be on a podcast.  "Be on my podcast."


Thanks again for participating in the survey.  I read every comment and have taken it to heart.  You have no idea how much this helps me as I shape the content to better serve this community.

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