A cross-sectional study of the presence of United Kingdom (UK) plastic surgeons on social media.
Mabvuure NT., Rodrigues J., Klimach S., Nduka C.
INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: To determine the uptake and usage of websites and social media (SM) by UK consultant (attending) plastic surgeons. METHODS: Professional profiles of full BAPRAS members were searched on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, RealSelf, YouTube, ResearchGate in May 2013. Additional surgeons were identified from the follower lists of @BAPRASvoice and @BAAPSMedia. Website ownership was determined on Google. Searches were repeated three times. Dual BAAPS-BAPRAS members were identified from www.baaps.org.uk. RESULTS: There were 156 (48.3%) dual BAAPS-BAPRAS members and 36 BAPRAS-only members. Fifty seven (18%) surgeons had no account on any platform whereas 266 (82%) were on at least one platform. One hundred and sixty four (51%) had personal websites whilst 37 (11%) had profiles on partnership websites. One hundred and sixteen (36%) had no website presence whilst 2% had websites under construction. The platform most surgeons use is LinkedIn (52%) whilst smaller proportions used Facebook (4%) and Twitter (22%). Surgeons had a mean of 126 (range: 0-3270) Twitter followers and 368 (range: 7-3786) fans/'likes' of their Facebook profiles. Time spent in postgraduate practice was not predictive of website ownership or SM use. However, dual BAAPS-BAPRAS members were significantly more likely to own a personal website, Twitter, RealSelf and YouTube accounts. CONCLUSIONS: There has been an increase in the uptake of social media by UK plastic surgeons, especially in those with aesthetic surgery interests. However, very few surgeons have optimised their web presence. Continued education and appropriate usage guidance may promote uptake, particularly by reconstructive surgeons.