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Arthrosc Sports Med Rehabil


Purpose: To evaluate the social media usage of orthopaedic residency programs, program directors (PDs), and department chairs across Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and to determine which types of social media posts are indicative of increased user following.

Methods: A systematic online search strategy was performed in October 2020 to identify all allopathic orthopaedic surgery residency program accounts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Instagram posts were further analyzed to evaluate the type of post that significantly correlated with increased follower counts.

Results: Of 158 orthopaedic surgery programs, 69 (43.7%) had Instagram accounts, 52 (32.9%) had Facebook accounts, and 54 (34.2%) had Twitter accounts. Program presence on Instagram and Twitter continued to grow exponentially (R (2) = 0.99 and R (2) = 0.95, respectively). Regarding program leadership, a total of 151 PDs and 156 chairs were identified. Of these, 21 PDs (14%) and 8 chairs (5.1%) had Instagram accounts. The number of posts and the numbers of educational, social, program information, and operative posts (P < .01) significantly correlated with increased followers on Instagram.

Conclusions: Fewer than one-half of orthopaedic surgery residency programs and fewer than one-quarter of PDs and department chairs have a social media presence. However, the number of residency programs on social media continues to rise year-over-year. The total number of posts; the amount of educational, social, and program information; and the number of operative posts significantly correlated with increased followers on Instagram.

Clinical Relevance: With the growing prevalence of social media, orthopaedic surgery residency programs have the opportunity to connect with future applicants and disseminate informational content regarding their programs.

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