Aim: Engagement by medical professionals with social media (SM) is increasing. Variation is noted in engagement between SM platforms and between surgical specialities and geographical regions. We aimed to study SM engagement by colorectal surgeons attending an international conference. Method: Surgeons were identified from the delegate list of the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) and Tripartite Meeting (Seattle, Washington, USA). Delegates were searched on Twitter and LinkedIn for the presence of a matching profile. SM presence, activity, gender and geographical region were analysed. Results: Two hundred and seventy (13.2%) surgeons had Twitter accounts and 994 (44.3%) had LinkedIn profiles. UK surgeons were more likely to be on Twitter than surgeons from elsewhere (23.4% vs 12.7%, P = 0.0072). Significant variation in SM membership between each geographical region was noted, with usage rates for Twitter of 18.1% in Europe, 14.4% in North America, 12.9% in South America, 4.3% in Oceania, 3.7% in Asia and 0% in Africa. A similar picture for LinkedIn is seen. The #ASCRS17 meeting saw the highest participation of users to date (979 participants, over 7000 individual tweets and nearly 14 million impressions). Conclusion: SM engagement by colorectal surgeons continues to increase. Significant geographical variation is noted, suggesting that SM's unique potential for education and networking may not yet be widely appreciated globally. Future work should include further analysis into tweet contents to gain insights and optimize the use of SM as an educational adjunct.
Hong, F. C., Devine, P., McDonald, J. J., Cologne, K., & Brady, R. R. W. (2018). Social media engagement amongst 2017 colorectal surgery Tripartite Meeting attendees: updates on contemporary social media use. Colorectal Disease, 20(5), O114–O118. https://doi.org/10.1111/codi.14058