A new wave of urologists? Graduating urology residents’ practices of and attitudes toward social media
Introduction: Social media (SoMe) have revolutionized healthcare, but physicians remain hesitant to adopt SoMe in their practices. We sought to assess graduating urology residents’ practices of and attitudes toward SoMe.
Methods: A close-ended questionnaire, employing five-point Likert scales, was distributed to all final-year residents (n=100) in Canadian urology training programs in 2012, 2014, and 2016 to assess SoMe usage and perceived usefulness.
Results: All (100%) questionnaires were completed. Respondents frequently used online services for personal (100%) and professional (96%) purposes. Most (92%) used SoMe. Many (73%) frequently used SoMe for personal purposes, but few (12%) frequently used SoMe for professional purposes. While a majority (59%) opposed direct patient interaction online, most supported using SoMe to provide patients with static information (76%) and collaborate with colleagues (65%). Many (70‒73%) were optimistic that novel solutions to privacy issues in online communications will arise, making SoMe and email contact with patients conceivable. Few (2‒8%) were aware and had read guidelines and legislations regarding physician online practices; however, awareness of medical associations’ and institutional SoMe policies significantly increased over time (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Despite their active online use, graduating urology residents rarely used SoMe in professional settings and were wary of using it in patient care. Nevertheless, they were optimistic toward its integration in urology and supported its use in physician-physician communication. Considering SoMe’s increased influence on urology and graduating residents’ limited awareness of guidelines and legislations, postgraduate medical educators should encourage residents to become more familiar with current online communication recommendations.
You, the Author(s), assign your copyright in and to the Article to the Canadian Urological Association. This means that you may not, without the prior written permission of the CUA:
- Post the Article on any Web site
- Translate or authorize a translation of the Article
- Copy or otherwise reproduce the Article, in any format, beyond what is permitted under Canadian copyright law, or authorize others to do so
- Copy or otherwise reproduce portions of the Article, including tables and figures, beyond what is permitted under Canadian copyright law, or authorize others to do so.
The CUA encourages use for non-commercial educational purposes and will not unreasonably deny any such permission request.
You retain your moral rights in and to the Article. This means that the CUA may not assert its copyright in such a way that would negatively reflect on your reputation or your right to be associated with the Article.
The CUA also requires you to warrant the following:
- That you are the Author(s) and sole owner(s), that the Article is original and unpublished and that you have not previously assigned copyright or granted a licence to any other third party;
- That all individuals who have made a substantive contribution to the article are acknowledged;
- That the Article does not infringe any proprietary right of any third party and that you have received the permissions necessary to include the work of others in the Article; and
- That the Article does not libel or violate the privacy rights of any third party.