Characterization of Social Media Presence Among Orthopedic Residency Programs



1 University of Connecticut School of Medicine; 200 Academic Way, Farmington CT, USA

2 UConn Health, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery; 120 Dowling Way, Farmington CT, USA


Objectives: The primary goal of this study is to characterize orthopaedic residency programs’ use of various social media platforms. The secondary aims include evaluating whether social media presence and engagement correlates with program diversity and/or reputation ranking.

Methods: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook were searched for orthopaedic residency program-specific accounts, using the list of accredited allopathic orthopaedic residency programs gathered from the 2021 Electronic Residency Application Service. Program ranks were recorded according to Doximity Reputation Ranking and US News and World Report websites. AAMC Careers in Medicine Residency & Fellowship Program Search was used to extract diversity data.

Results: Of the 187 programs analyzed, there were 92 residency program-specific Instagram accounts, 25 Twitter accounts, and 23 Facebook accounts. Programs in the top quartile according to Doximity Reputation ranking had more Instagram followers (1215.9 vs 870.6, 762.4, 610.7, P <0.01) and these programs were more likely to have an Instagram account (88.64% vs 54.55%, 36.36%, 29.55%, P <0.01) compared to the lower quartiles. Similar trends were seen in programs affiliated with US News and World Report ranked hospitals compared to unaffiliated programs (1126.1 vs 914.6 followers, P = 0.0133, 77.14% vs 44.46%, P = 0.0012). 82.55% of residents at programs without Instagram accounts were white, whereas 75.48% of residents at programs with Instagram accounts were white (P = 0.0036). 14.39% of residents were females at programs that have Instagram accounts, compared to 13.14% at programs without accounts (P = 0.3836).

Conclusions: Instagram is the most commonly used social media platform by orthopaedic residency programs. Higher ranked programs are more popular on social media and have a stronger presence online. Social media presence of a program has no correlation to gender diversity, but programs with fewer white residents have a higher social media presence.