Social Media Use by Residents and Faculty in Otolaryngology Training Programs

Document Type


Publication Date



The Annals of otology, rhinology, and laryngology




academic leadership; residency program director; residency training; resident education; surgical training


OBJECTIVES: Despite the growth of social media in healthcare, the appropriateness of online friendships between otolaryngological residents and attendings is poorly defined in the current literature. This issue is of growing importance, particularly as residency programs increasingly utilize social media as a means of connecting with and evaluating applicants due to limited in-person experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our objective was to better understand the prevalence of and concerns surrounding social media use between residents and faculty. METHODS: This study sent out 2 surveys in 2017 to all United States Otolaryngology residency program directors to disperse to their residents and attendings, respectively. RESULTS: We received a response from 72 residents and 98 attendings. Our findings show that social media is commonly used by both residents and attendings, and most residents have at least 1 online friendship with an attending. Resident and attending opinions diverge on topics such as appropriateness of use, privacy settings, and professionalism. CONCLUSIONS: We call on residency programs to delineate a transparent social media policy so applicant expectations on social media are clear.


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