Medical Student Clinical Pearl


The objective of the Med Student Clinical Pearl is for the student to:

  1. Explore an EM topic in more detail
  2. Gain experience in writing a website FOAM Ed article
  3. Enhance your resume with a peer reviewed ePublication

Key Points

  1. This is not a thesis – It should only take you an evening.
  2. It needs media – pictures, videos, infographics, etc – this makes the pearl easier to read for the audience, and helps solidify topics for yourself.
  3. A large topic is NOT necessary! These topics are meant to help with revision within the curriculum – e.g how to read an ECG
  4. Some of the short, quick tip pearls have been amongst the most viewed on our website.
  5. Think of your audience when putting the pearl together – who is going to read it, what search term will bring your pearl up on google, what will make them want to share it with others?
  6. Most pearls are case-based – but it doesn’t have to be. If you decide to do it based on a case make sure you disguise the details: change the sex and age – make sure nobody would recognize the case.
  7. Hyperlink your text to relevant articles on the web if appropriate.



*Headshot photo of yourself prn. (*Not required)
*Your Twitter/Instagram handle prn (*Not required, but this is how you could get real FOAMed feedback on your pearl!)
Your Med School Year
Classification of your pearl: Case Report or Problem or Innovation or Quick tip:

This is where you introduce your pearl – what is the issue that you are going to enlighten your readers on?


Case Report – If describing a condition/diagnosis then use the following format:
• Discuss 3 most important alternative diagnosis
• Discuss the important historical and physical exam features of the condition including important pertinent positive and negative features
• Discuss risk factors for the condition
• Discuss the appropriate diagnostics and there respective sensitivity and specificity
• Discuss the goal standard test if known
• Discuss “best practice” for treatment

Problem/Innovation/Quick Tip
• This may be based on an article that you have found e.g. how to break bad news, a new decision tool for SAH, How to calculate the anion gap the easy way
• This could be built into a case or simply described from the paper
• For procedures or examination findings use links to videos – remember this is multimedia!
• Consider making your own infographic to illustrate your pearl.


o If case based include the case conclusion
o For all – include a bite-sized summary of key points


• We don’t specify how you reference these – you can use traditional referencing or further reading list
• If you do include a reference list make sure each ref is hyperlinked to the pubmed abstract or, better still, the full text article
• Make sure all images or tables include the source in description e.g accessed from grepmed –


Visit some previous Medical Student Clinical Pearls for examples.