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      Current Social Media Use Among Radiation Oncology Trainees


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          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.


          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%).


          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.

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          Most cited references18

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          How Health Care Professionals Use Social Media to Create Virtual Communities: An Integrative Review

          Background Prevailing health care structures and cultures restrict intraprofessional communication, inhibiting knowledge dissemination and impacting the translation of research into practice. Virtual communities may facilitate professional networking and knowledge sharing in and between health care disciplines. Objectives This study aimed to review the literature on the use of social media by health care professionals in developing virtual communities that facilitate professional networking, knowledge sharing, and evidence-informed practice. Methods An integrative literature review was conducted to identify research published between 1990 and 2015. Search strategies sourced electronic databases (PubMed, CINAHL), snowball references, and tables of contents of 3 journals. Papers that evaluated social media use by health care professionals (unless within an education framework) using any research design (except for research protocols or narrative reviews) were included. Standardized data extraction and quality assessment tools were used. Results Overall, 72 studies were included: 44 qualitative (including 2 ethnographies, 26 qualitative descriptive, and 1 Q-sort) and 20 mixed-methods studies, and 8 literature reviews. The most common methods of data collection were Web-based observation (n=39), surveys (n=23), interviews (n=11), focus groups (n=2), and diaries (n=1). Study quality was mixed. Social media studied included Listservs (n=22), Twitter (n=18), general social media (n=17), discussion forums (n=7), Web 2.0 (n=3), virtual community of practice (n=3), wiki (n=1), and Facebook (n=1). A range of health care professionals were sampled in the studies, including physicians (n=24), nurses (n=15), allied health professionals (n=14), followed by health care professionals in general (n=8), a multidisciplinary clinical specialty area (n=9), and midwives (n=2). Of 36 virtual communities, 31 were monodiscipline for a discrete clinical specialty. Population uptake by the target group ranged from 1.6% to 29% (n=4). Evaluation using related theories of “planned behavior” and the “technology acceptance model” (n=3) suggests that social media use is mediated by an individual’s positive attitude toward and accessibility of the media, which is reinforced by credible peers. The most common reason to establish a virtual community was to create a forum where relevant specialty knowledge could be shared and professional issues discussed (n=17). Most members demonstrated low posting behaviors but more frequent reading or accessing behaviors. The most common Web-based activity was request for and supply of specialty-specific clinical information. This knowledge sharing is facilitated by a Web-based culture of collectivism, reciprocity, and a respectful noncompetitive environment. Findings suggest that health care professionals view virtual communities as valuable knowledge portals for sourcing clinically relevant and quality information that enables them to make more informed practice decisions. Conclusions There is emerging evidence that health care professionals use social media to develop virtual communities to share domain knowledge. These virtual communities, however, currently reflect tribal behaviors of clinicians that may continue to limit knowledge sharing. Further research is required to evaluate the effects of social media on knowledge distribution in clinical practice and importantly whether patient outcomes are significantly improved.
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            Don't throw away your printed books: A meta-analysis on the effects of reading media on reading comprehension

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              The Use of Social Media in Graduate Medical Education

              Despite the growing presence of social media in graduate medical education (GME), few studies have attempted to characterize their effect on residents and their training. The authors conducted a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature to understand the effect of social media on resident (1) education, (2) recruitment, and (3) professionalism.

                Author and article information

                Adv Radiat Oncol
                Adv Radiat Oncol
                Advances in Radiation Oncology
                23 December 2020
                Mar-Apr 2021
                23 December 2020
                : 6
                : 2
                : 100642
                [a ]Arizona Center for Cancer Care, Peoria, Arizona
                [b ]Department of Radiation Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon
                [c ]Montefiore Nyack Hospital, Nyack, New York
                [d ]Department of Data Science, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi
                [e ]Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Miami, Miami, Florida
                [f ]Department of Radiation Oncology, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, New York
                [g ]Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
                [h ]Department of Radiation Oncology, Lowell General Hospital, Andover, Massachusetts
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author: Ashley Albert, MD Ashley.grv@ 123456gmail.com

                Co-first authors.

                S2452-1094(20)30372-9 100642
                © 2020 The Authors

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

                : 21 August 2020
                : 20 November 2020
                : 9 December 2020
                Scientific Article


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