Heather J Logghe, MD1, Laurel Milam, MA2, Natalie Tully, BS3, Arghavan Salles, MD, PhD2. 1Thomas Jefferson University, 2Washington University, 3Texas Tech University
INTRODUCTION – Frequent interruption of women in conversation has long been noted anecdotally, and studies confirm that women are interrupted more often than men. Such interruptions can diminish perceptions of authority and compromise women’s self-confidence. On Twitter, users cannot be interrupted in the same way they can be in live conversation. Thus the platform may provide a means for women to overcome this obstacle. To determine the degree to which women surgeon leaders utilize Twitter compared to their male colleagues, we examined the Twitter accounts and activity of the leaders of three national surgical societies.
METHODS AND PROCEDURES – Lists of surgeons holding leadership positions in three surgical societies; the American College of Surgeons, the Academic Association of Surgery, and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, were obtained and duplicate names were deleted. Table 1 details the organizations and leadership positions included. The Twitter accounts of these leaders were then identified and confirmed by reviewing the accounts for surgical content. Account duration was calculated from the join date. The number of tweets, accounts following, followers, and likes were recorded for each account. Outliers were defined as two standard deviations from the mean.
RESULTS – One hundred sixty-eight men and 64 women surgeon leaders were identified. Forty-nine percent of the men and 66% of the women were found to have Twitter accounts. Mean account durations for men and women were similar, 4.6 years and 4.1 years, respectively. Outliers for total tweets (7 men, 1 women), accounts following (5 men), followers (2 men), and likes (3 men) were excluded from analyses. Almost all positive outliers were men. There were no negative outliers. Overall, excluding the outliers, there were no significant differences between men and women in any metric.
CONCLUSION – Among leaders in the surgical organizations analyzed, a higher percentage of women than men have Twitter accounts. Those with the greatest number of tweets, accounts following, followers, and likes, however, are overwhelmingly male. Thus, although women in this sample were more likely than the men to have Twitter accounts, men were more likely to gain influence through their accounts. Increasing women’s influence in this public forum may position them as much-needed role models for the current and next generations. Surgical societies may help reduce the disparity in women’s representation in surgical fields through education of their members on how to use social media.
Presented at the SAGES 2017 Annual Meeting in Houston, TX.
Abstract ID: 88183
Program Number: P766
Presentation Session: iPoster Session (Non CME)
Presentation Type: Poster