Current Social Media Use Among Radiation Oncology Trainees

Ashley Albert, Jenna M. Kahn, Miriam A. Knoll, Seth Lirette, Raphael Yechieli, Naamit K. Gerber, Reshma Jagsi, Matthew S. Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Resident physicians use social media (SM) for many reasons. We sought to characterize current SM use by radiation oncology (RO) trainees for education and professional development. Methods and Materials: An anonymous 40-question survey was sent by e-mail to RO residents in the 2018 to 2019 academic year. SM platform use, time spent on SM, professional use, and opinions regarding SM use were assessed. Descriptive statistics and a univariate logistic regression analysis were performed to identify factors associated with perceptions of SM and spending >25% of SM time for academic or professional purposes. Results: Of the 615 residents surveyed, 149 responded (24% response rate). Facebook (73%), theMednet (62%), Instagram (59%), Twitter (57%), and Doximity (50%) were the top SM platforms used. Most respondents (53%) reported <25% of overall SM time on professional/academic purposes, and 21% reported using SM >60 minutes per day over the past week. Residents with an RO mentor on SM (n = 35; 24%; odds ratio [OR]: 2.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.29-6.08; P =.010), those participating in RO discussions on SM (n = 71; 48%; OR: 2.85; 95% CI, 1.42-5.72; P =.003), and those interacting with professional societies (n = 69; 46%; OR: 7.11; 95% CI, 3.32-15.24; P <.001) were more likely to spend >25% of their SM time on professional/academic purposes. The vast majority of respondents agreed that SM exposed them to novel educational content (82%) and was helpful for career development (65%). In addition, 69% agreed that SM can improve clinical skills and knowledge. A substantial minority agreed that SM distracts them from studying (38%) or they felt pressure to have a SM presence (29%). Conclusions: Most RO residents reported that SM provides novel educational content and can help with career development. Potential disadvantages of SM for trainees may include distraction and pressure to maintain a SM presence. SM use by RO trainees merits further research to optimize its potential for education and professional development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100642
JournalAdvances in Radiation Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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