Use of social media in urology: data from the American Urological Association (AUA)

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Abstract

Objective

To characterise the use of social media among members of the American Urological Association (AUA), as the use of social media in medicine has greatly expanded in recent years.

Subjects and Methods

In December 2012 to January 2013, the AUA e-mailed a survey with 34 questions on social media use to 2000 randomly selected urologists and 2047 resident/fellow members. Additional data was collected from Symplur analytics on social media use surrounding the AUA Annual Meeting in May 2013.

Results

In all, 382 (9.4%) surveys were completed, indicating 74% of responders had an online social media account. The most commonly used social media platforms were Facebook (93%), followed in descending order by LinkedIn (46%), Twitter (36%) and Google+ (26%). Being aged <40 years was an important predictor of social media use (83% vs 56%), with greater uptake among residents/fellows compared with attendings (86% vs 66%). Only 28% of respondents used social media partly or entirely for professional purposes. During the 2013 AUA Annual Meeting, there were >5000 tweets from >600 distinct contributors.

Conclusion

As of early 2013, among respondents to an e-mail survey, most urologists and urology trainees used some form of social media, and its use in urology conferences has greatly expanded.

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