: The Role of Social Media in Integrated Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Residency Programs
Alap U. Patel, Tianna M. Negron, MHS, Nicholas A. Wingate, MD, Ashley N. Amalfi, MD.
University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA.
BACKGROUND: While the use of social media in both private and academic plastic surgery has become popular, it has only recently started playing a role in integrated plastic surgery residency programs (IPSRP). In early 2018, only 14 IPSRPs were found to have active Instagram accounts1, and this number has risen to over 45 programs in one year. Instagram is a platform focused specifically on visual content as a vehicle to promote and share information. Our study aims to describe the management, ethical and professional guidelines, content, and trends of Instagram use by IPSRPs. METHODS: An ACAPS-approved RedCap survey was distributed to Plastic Surgery Integrated Residency Program Directors (PDs), who were asked to share a survey with their residents as well.
RESULTS: Although data acquisition is ongoing, preliminary data is included. Of PDs whoíve completed our survey, 30% actively encouraged residents to post to their Programís Instagram, and although no PDs personally posted, 12.5% oversaw/moderated the account. 50% said Instagram was a useful recruiting tool for their IPSRP. Our resident respondents were mostly aged 25-35 (91.8%), PGY-5 (29.7%), and female (62.2%). 58.1% said all residents help post to the programís Instagram account. Residents were able to identify the types of photos they were prohibited from posting: OR photos (69.7%), patient photos (87.9%), photos during surgical procedures (69.7%), before and afters (69.7%), and resident aesthetic clinic (42.2%). Only 25.7% said their program had developed a set of regulations/guidelines around posting non-medical content on Instagram. 33.3% said Instagram or other forms of social media helped guide job and fellowship selection for their residents. 47.1% did not feel that posts in exchange for goods or services was an ethical violation. Furthermore, 48.6% were not aware of censorship guidelines from our society for social media platforms. 45.9% said they had not received guidance related to professional etiquette on social media and how it relates to advertising and self-promotion. CONCLUSIONS:While the majority of residents were aware of types of photos that would be inappropriate to post, there is room for improvement. A minority of programs have explicit guidelines about posting on social media, and perhaps more concerning - many residents are not aware of ethical use of social media as promoted by the ASPS. While our survey shows a generally safe practice, there remains a lack of shared understanding among residentsí and programsí regarding the acceptable use of Instagram as an educational platform and recruitment tool.
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