Advertisement

Educational content and the use of social media at US departments of surgery

Published:December 11, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2017.10.039

      Abstract

      Background

      The growth of the social media platform Twitter has prompted many to consider its potential as an educational tool. Little is known about how surgery training programs are utilizing this resource and whether this platform can provide educational content effectively. We sought to determine national utilization of Twitter by departments of surgery in the United States and evaluate if educationally driven content heightened engagement with the Twitter followers.

      Methods

      We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of social media presence for all Accreditation Council for Graduation Medical Education accredited general surgery training programs between October 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016. Each tweet was characterized as either promotional or educational. Metrics related to account engagement, including impressions (number of times a tweet is seen) and retweets (number of times a tweet is shared), were compared. These results were compared against a single departmental account focused primarily on educational content.

      Results

      Thirty-two departmental Twitter accounts were identified from the 272 programs approached associated with accredited general surgery training programs. Training programs posted a median of 1.0 unique tweets (interquartile range: 0.6–2.3) per week. Tweets were primarily promotional (81% of posts) and generated marginal engagement with followers (3.4 likes/tweet; 1.5 retweets/tweet). In contrast, a single, resident-run departmental account at our institution (University of Michigan) focused on educational content generated consistent, educational content (19.6 unique tweets/week, 48% of which were educational), which resulted in increased engagement with followers (11.4 likes/tweet; 5.9 retweets/tweet) compared to other accounts.

      Conclusion

      Though Twitter is being widely adopted widely by departments of surgery, it is primarily utilized for promotional content. Use of educational content may improve engagement from followers.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Surgery
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Langenfeld S.J.
        • Vargo D.J.
        • Schenarts P.J.
        Balancing privacy and professionalism: a survey of general surgery program directors on social media and surgical education.
        J Surg Educ. 2016; 73: e28-e32
        • Guraya S.Y.
        The usage of social networking sites by medical students for educational purposes: a meta-analysis and systematic review.
        N Am J Med Sci. 2016; 8: 268-278
        • Chretien K.C.
        • Azar J.
        • Kind T.
        Physicians on Twitter.
        JAMA. 2011; 305: 566-568
        • Gardhouse A.I.
        • Budd L.
        • Yang S.Y.C.
        • Wong C.L.
        #GeriMedJC: the Twitter complement to the traditional-format geriatric medicine journal club.
        J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017; 65: 1347-1351
        • Logghe H.J.
        • Boeck M.A.
        • Atallah S.B.
        Decoding Twitter: understanding the history, instruments, and techniques for success.
        Ann Surg. 2016; 264: 904-908
        • Ibrahim A.M.
        • Lillemoe K.D.
        • Klingensmith M.E.
        • Dimick J.B.
        Visual abstracts to disseminate research on social media: a prospective, case-control crossover study.
        Ann Surg. 2017; 266: e46-e48
        • Reames B.N.
        • Sheetz K.H.
        • Englesbe M.J.
        • Waits S.A.
        Evaluating the use of Twitter to enhance the educational experience of a medical school surgery clerkship.
        J Surg Educ. 2016; 73: 73-78
        • Ravindran R.
        • Vivekanantham S.
        Harnessing social media for medical education.
        Clin Teach. 2014; 11: 239
        • Vohra R.S.
        • Hallissey M.T.
        Social networks, social media, and innovating surgical education.
        JAMA Surg. 2015; 150: 192-193
        • Wexner S.D.
        • Petrucci A.M.
        • Brady R.R.
        • Ennis-O'Connor M.
        • Fitzgerald J.E.
        • Mayol J.
        Social media in colorectal surgery.
        Colorect Dis. 2017; 19: 105-114
        • Mouly F.
        • Bormes G.
        The New Yorker cover that's being replicated by women surgeons across the world.
        (The New Yorker: Conde Nast)2017
        • Joseph B.
        • Pandit V.
        • Zangbar B.
        • et al.
        Superiority of frailty over age in predicting outcomes among geriatric trauma patients: a prospective analysis.
        JAMA Surg. 2014; 149: 766-772
        • Fleshman J.
        • Branda M.
        • Sargent D.J.
        • et al.
        Effect of laparoscopic-assisted resection vs open resection of stage ii or iii rectal cancer on pathologic outcomes: the ACOSOG Z6051 randomized clinical trial.
        JAMA. 2015; 314: 1346-1355
        • Hoyt D.B.
        American College of Surgeons and social media efforts.
        Surgery. 2011; 150: 13-14
        • Indes J.E.
        • Gates L.
        • Mitchell E.L.
        • Muhs B.E.
        Social media in vascular surgery.
        J Vasc Surg. 2013; 57: 1159-1162
        • Cartledge P.
        • Miller M.
        • Phillips B.
        The use of social-networking sites in medical education.
        Med Teach. 2013; 35: 847-857
        • Thangasamy I.A.
        • Leveridge M.
        • Davies B.J.
        • Finelli A.
        • Stork B.
        • Woo H.H.
        International urology journal club via Twitter: 12-month experience.
        Eur Urol. 2014; 66: 112-117
        • Matta R.
        • Doiron C.
        • Leveridge M.J.
        The dramatic increase in social media in urology.
        J Urol. 2014; 192: 494-498
        • Cochrane A.R.
        • McDonald J.J.
        • Brady R.R.
        Social media use among United Kingdom vascular surgeons: a cross-sectional study.
        Ann Vasc Surg. 2016; 33: 252-257