Hope T Jackson, MD, Monica T Young, MD, Alejandro Rodriguez, MD, Andrew S Wright, MD. University of Washington School of Medicine
Introduction: Facebook is a popular online social networking platform, which is increasingly being used for professional collaboration. To date there have been no published studies regarding the use of Facebook for surgeon professional development and education. The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) has established a private Facebook group dedicated to discussion of surgery of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine– the “SAGES Foregut Surgery Collaboration.” Membership in the group is restricted to surgeons and select members of industry. The aim of this study is to examine how this forum is used for professional development, education, and quality improvement.
Methods: Member and post statistics were obtained from Grytics.com, a Facebook group analytics service. All posts added to the Foregut forum since its creation in April 2015 were reviewed and categorized for content and topic. Posts were also reviewed for potential identifiable patient protected health information.
Results: As of September 2016 there were 540 total members in the group, of whom 84 have posted and 189 have commented. There have been a total of 336 posts and 3038 comments with a median 6 ± 10.8 comments/post (range 0-72). Posts were categorized as operative technique (43%), patient management (33%), continuing education (14%), networking (5%), or other (5%). Video and/or photos were included in 43% of posts with 38% of posts depicting radiologic studies, 13% with intra-operative photos or videos, and 8% with images of esophageal physiology studies. An additional 40 posts included links to other pages, such as YouTube videos, journal articles, or the SAGES website. One post (0.3%) was identified as containing identifiable protected health information and was deleted once identified by the moderators of the group.
Conclusion: Social media is a unique, real time platform where surgeons can learn, discuss, and collaborate towards the goal of optimal treatment of surgical disease. Active online surgical communities such as the SAGES Foregut Surgery Collaborative have the potential to enhance communication between surgeons and are a potential innovative adjunct to traditional methods of continuing surgical education. Surgical societies should adopt and promote professional and responsible use of social media.
Presented at the SAGES 2017 Annual Meeting in Houston, TX.
Abstract ID: 80698
Program Number: S116
Presentation Session: Education Technology, Teaching and Learning
Presentation Type: Podium