The Social Media Footprint of Pediatric Surgery Fellowship Programs: Where Do We Stand?

Nikhil R. Shah, Christine G. DeFilippo, Jana DeJesus, Anthony Price, Bindi Naik-Mathuria, Ravi S. Radhakrishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Social media utilization is expanding within graduate medical education and academic surgery. This study aims to quantify the current social media footprint of pediatric surgery (PS) fellowship training programs. Methods: United States PS fellowship programs from the American Pediatric Surgical Association website and social media accounts on three platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) were identified. Authors quantified subject matter within public program content and compared PS social media utilization to other surgical training programs. A public Twitter survey was disseminated to evaluate recent PS applicant Twitter use and perceptions about content posted by programs. Results: Of 51 PS fellowship programs, 23 (45.1%) had active Twitter accounts, 2 (3.9%) had active Facebook accounts, and 1 (2.0%) had an active Instagram account. Cumulatively, 5162 organic posts were published across all 26 accounts (90.4% on Twitter). Most commonly posted content included research/conference presentations (31.3%) and faculty accolades (15.1%), while clinical/OR experience (3.6%), gender/ethnic diversity (2.4%) had the least content. Compared to other training programs, PS has lower utilization of Facebook (p < 0.001) and Instagram (p < 0.001), but similar Twitter utilization (p = 0.09). Twenty-four recent applicants responded to the public Twitter survey. Most (62.5%) used Twitter intentionally for recruitment and networking purposes when applying to fellowship. They expressed desire for increased content related to clinical/OR experiences, program ethnic/gender diversity and recruitment information. Conclusion: Amongst PS training programs, Twitter is the most commonly utilized platform. Expanding Twitter usage to more programs and posting more varied content may facilitate opportunities for diverse applicant recruitment and serve as a platform to share clinical knowledge, which will ultimately move the needle towards growth and equity. Level of Evidence: IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2294-2299
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Diversity
  • Education
  • Recruitment
  • Social media
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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