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Social media in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery

| Reprints
September 18, 2017
by Modupe Oyewumi, MD; John Lee, MD, MSc, FRCSC; Allan Vescan, MD, FRCSC


The objective of this study was to assess the current use of social media tools within Canadian otolaryngology-head and neck surgery (OHNS) programs and to assess the interest within these programs to integrate social media for networking, social, and educational programs. A prospective study from September 2013 to February 2014 was performed involving residents and faculty in Canadian OHNS programs. A 26-item questionnaire was created and sent to staff and resident physicians who met the study inclusion criteria using an online survey tool ( There were 101 respondents for a 10% response rate. More than half (58.4%) of respondents reported use of social media for personal and/or professional matters. Residents and junior faculty physicians 39 years and younger were more likely to have social media accounts and used them more frequently than their older counterparts. Among staff physicians, pediatric otolaryngologists had the highest rate of use, and otologists exhibited the lowest rate. Cellular phones were the most commonly used devices to access social media sites. Fewer than 35% of social media users failed to separate their personal and professional accounts. Although OHNS trainees and practicing physicians identified the potential benefits of social media tools in their specialty, most were unsure how to apply these tools to their practice. Ours is the first study to assess social media use in OHNS. Otolaryngologists are currently using social media; however, their application as a communication and educational tool in otolaryngology remains to be defined.

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