A rise in social media utilization by U.S. neurology residency programs in the era of COVID-19

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Objective: To determine how neurology departments and residency programs in the United States used virtual communication to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, we investigated the presence and use of social media pages, virtual outreach events, and virtual internship opportunities. Methods: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts were identified (or noted as nonexistent) for 159 accredited neurology departments and residency programs. Google searches and social media site specific searches were performed. For existing pages, the date of creation was determined and all posts on and after March 1st, 2020, were assessed to investigate the presence of virtual open house advertisements. Each program was also assessed for virtual sub-internship and elective opportunities on the Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS). Results: A majority of neurology residency programs (110) had a social media presence, particularly on Twitter and Instagram. Most residency program Twitter and Instagram accounts were created after March 1st, 2020, and this was not the case on Facebook. Twitter and Instagram were used most to advertise virtual opportunities. A correlation was observed between presence and number of social media accounts and program prestige. Few programs offered virtual opportunities on VSAS for the 2020–2021 year. Conclusion: Neurology residency programs adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic by creating residency social media accounts, primarily on Instagram and Twitter, and hosting virtual informational events. We recommend that neurology residency applicants create professional Instagram and Twitter accounts to network with programs and receive updates about virtual events. Similarly, going forward, we recommend continued social media use by neurology residency programs for applicant outreach.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Gaini RR; Patel KM; Khan SA; Singh NP; Love MN
  • Volume

  • 207