Widespread use of internet, applications, and social media in the professional life of urology residents

Johannes Salem, Hendrik Borgmann, Martin Baunacke, Katharina Boehm, Julian Hanske, Andrew MacNeily, Christian Meyer, Tim Nestler, Marianne Schmid, Johannes Huber


Introduction: Digital media have revolutionized communication and information dissemination in healthcare. We aimed to quantify and evaluate professional digital media use among urology residents.

Methods: We designed a 17-item survey to assess usage and perceived usefulness of digital media, as well as communication type and device type and distributed it via email to 143 Canadian and 721 German urology residents.

Results: In total, 58 (41% response rate) residents from Canada and 170 (24% response rate) from Germany reported professional usage rates of 100% on the internet, 89% on apps, and 46% on social media (SoMe). For professional use, residents spent a median of 30 minutes per day on the internet, 10 minutes on apps, and 15 minutes on SoMe. 100% rated the internet, 89% apps, and 31% SoMe as useful for clinical practice. Most (94%) used digital media for communication with colleagues and 23% for communication with patients. Digital media use was allocated to desktop computers (55%) and mobile devices (45%). Canadian residents had higher usage rates of apps (96% vs. 86%; p=0.042) and SoMe (65% vs. 39%; p=0.002) and longer daily usage times for the internet, apps, and SoMe than German residents (p<0.001 each).

Conclusions: Digital media are an integral part of the daily professional practice of urology residents, reflected by high usage rates and perceived usefulness of the internet and apps, and the growing importance of SoMe. Urologists should strive to progressively exhaust the vast potential of digital media for academic and clinical practice.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.4267