The use of social media and virtual opportunities by integrated vascular surgery residency programs during the COVID-19 pandemic

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the 2021 match application cycle as in person sub-internships and interviews have been halted. Given the abrupt change, we aimed to characterize the utilization of social media and virtual open house platforms by integrated vascular surgery residency programs for outreach and networking during the pandemic for the 2021 cycle. Methods: A list of accredited integrated vascular surgery residency programs was compiled using the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) website provided by the Academic Medical Colleges (AMC). The social media platforms Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook were queried for accounts associated with the training programs or their associated institutional vascular surgery divisions. Each discovered account was surveyed for date of creation as well as posts outlining virtual interactive events such as open houses, meet-and-greets, and virtual sub-internship opportunities. Slopes of the curves representing total account numbers and account numbers on each platform were compared from pre-COVID to current day using linear regression and t-statistics. Results: There were 64 integrated vascular surgery residency programs participating in the 2021 match cycle. 70.3% (N = 45) of programs had a social media presence on at least one of the three platforms. 54.7% (N = 35) of programs had an associated Twitter account. 43.9% (N = 28) of programs had an associated Instagram account. Six (9.4%) programs were found on Facebook. The number of social media accounts significantly increased from March 2020 (37 vs 69, p <.001) to March 2021. Conclusions: Vascular surgery residency programs have significantly increased use of social media platforms over a 12-month period beginning in March 2020, indicating adaptation to the restrictions prompted by the pandemic.
  • Published In

  • Vascular  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • LaGrone RB; Singh NP; Nocera AP; Rais-Bahrami S; Novak Z; Beck AW; Sutzko DC