Published December 30, 2022 | Updated October 20, 2023
If you’ve read our guide to ECG courses for doctors, but want to see how far a free ECG course can get you, look no further!
In this article, we cover the best free ECG courses available on the internet, as well as some superb free quizzes and online resources to make sure that you never get stuck while reading an electrocardiogram.
If you have any suggestions for additions to this post, please feel free to get in touch!
The 7 Best Free Online ECG Courses
Particularly rich in the variety of training techniques as it includes some of the most interactive online course content available. The course covers many important topics and has a game mode where you’re asked to review and triage 10 ECGs. However, part of its content is limited in that you must pay to access it.
- Highly polished, with excellent quality videos
- Interactive elements & quizzes
- Institutional logins available
- The Freemium model means most of the course content is paid
The course is aimed at all medical practitioners. Its distinguishing feature is that it takes you through a step-by-step analysis of the ECG features including rate, rhythm, P-wave, QRS, and PR interval. Thereafter, you are asked to give the interpretation. In total, you’ll get to practice with over forty tracings.
- Accompanying heart sounds, ultrasound modules, and other free resources
- Referenced information for all explanations
- Great variety of ECG resources
- Courses are text and image-based, with no video content
- A limited number of ECGs are available on the free version
- Sign-up required for access
For those that like to listen and watch, this course is convenient, providing thorough video explanations on basic to advanced ECG concepts. The course is based on a YouTube playlist by Dr. Eric Strong, structured to give you a full experience of core ECG concepts. It provides a different dimension to alternative free courses.
- Extremely detailed overview of EKG interpretation
- Goes over the basic concepts, as well as pattern recognition
- Contains basic to advanced interpretation skills
- No interactive elements or quizzes
- Some YouTube ads present
Healio presents a free and comprehensive ECG interpretation course, which comes with plenty of explanation on the basics of ECGs, alongside more advanced reviews and a library of electrocardiograms. Their platform is text and image-based, and navigation is self-directed for those who already have a working knowledge of EKG analysis.
- A very detailed and comprehensive approach to ECG training
- Self-directed learning excellent for those with prior knowledge
- No video content is available
- The platform can be tricky to navigate
This module was developed by the department of emergency medicine in the school of medicine Queen’s university. It works to equip the learner with a systematic approach to interpreting ECGs and identifying ECG abnormalities. It is short and summative and thus offers a great overview of the ECG. The practice questions aren’t scored or tracked but there is a reference to know when you are wrong or right.
- A practical approach to systematic ECG interpretation which uses real-world examples
- Plenty of ECGs and images to help you learn, including common patterns
- Quite a basic website
- Only 5 cases in their end-of-course quiz
Provided by Kingston University London and St. George’s University of London, this is a 4-hour FutureLearn course learned in two weeks (2hrs per week), available to all healthcare providers. While technically a paid-for course, you can access the material via a free trial for four weeks.
- Excellent video content, including some animated explanations
- CPD Accredited
- Free access limited to four weeks
- Basic, with limited coverage of advanced ECG concepts
This course offers step-by-step tutorials and practice. It has a diagram, 500+ practice questions, and narrated video content. It aims to build your confidence in interpreting ECGs through explanation and repeated exposure. The levels of difficulty are ordered based on your current level of knowledge in the area.
- Excellent coverage of education from basic to advanced
- A fantastic variety of ECGs included
- Video content with stepwise approaches, as well as written explanations
- Video content is limited
- PowerPoint-like format for tutorials
Free Online ECG Quizzes
In addition to the online courses, you can also practice your skills with free online ECG quizzes. This format is a great way to see if your knowledge is up to spec or hone your newfound expertise. Here are a few quizzes available online for free:
This quiz comes with guidelines to diagnose various types of ECG patterns as well as over 200 practice questions for interpretation. This is a good option as it seeks to give you a wide range of ECGs to gain much-needed experience. The quiz itself doesn’t offer any explanations, but there is plenty of wisdom in their guideline section.
- An excellent variety of ECGs
- Guidelines to help with explanations
- No explanations with answers
- Guideline references are sometimes outdated
This quiz features 25 scenarios alongside ECG images and a question. Rather than simply asking for a diagnosis, the question formats are closer to questions you would expect to see in membership exams such as the MRCP part 2 – asking you the diagnosis and next practical steps.
- A practical approach to questions
- Great variety of ECGs
- Only 25 questions
- Answers are revealed, rather than being interactive
Here, Geeky medics present a popular 17-question quiz which includes a spaced-repetition format as well as detailed answers for each scenario. Their website, aimed at medical students and junior doctors, also features plenty of practical articles and guides to conditions, procedures, and OSCE exams.
- An interactive format built on a well-designed platform
- Detailed explanations, with bullet-point summaries of each condition as you go
- Only 17 questions are currently available
Other Free ECG Resources
The original #FOAMed website. This is one of the best-known ECG resources for junior doctors, and for good reason. There is plenty of coverage on the basics of interpretation, alongside hundreds of examples of ECGs for every possible pathology and arrhythmia. You will find detailed explanations written clearly, alongside excellent example images.
Presented as the Wikipedia of ECGs, this website is easy to navigate and well organised, with an effort to cover everything you need to know. For each feature of the ECG, the site provides an image of the normal pattern, with abnormal patterns and possible aetiologies. Therefore this is a comprehensive way to learn about ECGs for those who prefer self-directed learning.
Dr Smith’s blog provides 2-3 basic to advanced cases each week, alongside detailed explanations of the interpretation and how each scenario was dealt with. Experts review each case in the field who provide additional hints, tips, and facts to help the reader understand how to interpret the ECG, as well as practical advice on how to deal with similar cases.