American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons
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#AllHandsonDeck: A Social Media Analysis of Hand Surgery Content by Plastic Surgery Residency Programs
Claudia Siniakowicz, BS; Melody Ong, BS; Emily Keenan, BA; Rose S. Maisner, BS; Kailash Kapadia, MD; Edward S. Lee, MD
Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ

Background: As a core competency required by the ACGME for plastic surgery training, sufficient hand surgery exposure during residency is essential. Social media platforms, including Instagram, are widely used by residency programs and can factor into applicant decision-making. This study aims to evaluate the representation of hand surgery by integrated plastic surgery residency programs on their Instagram accounts
Methods: Integrated plastic surgery residency programs were identified from the American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons (ACAPS) website. Their Instagram accounts were identified through Instagram searches. Program variables including Doximity reputation ranking, geographic region, and accreditation date were collected. Posts uploaded through 8/21/2021 were analyzed for hand surgery-related content and hashtags. Video-only posts were excluded. Engagement scores were calculated by dividing mean likes on the 10 most recent posts by number of account followers. Studentís t and ANOVA tests were used to compare hand surgery-related content between programs (?=0.05)
Results: Of 84 programs, 77 (91.7%) had active accounts, totaling 9361 posts. 788 (8.4%) posts were hand surgery-related, featuring 211 academic activity (26.9%), 147 operative case (18.7%), 143 fellowship (18.1%), 133 faculty subspecialty (16.9%), 107 research (13.6%), 77 resident interest (9.8%), 29 hand call (3.7%), 13 clinic (1.6%), 5 mission trip (0.6%), 2 news article (0.2%), 2 physical exam (0.2%), and 1 patient testimonial (0.1%) posts. The most commonly featured operative procedures included hand nerve repairs (11.6%), artery repairs (8.8%), replants (8.2%), and transplants (8.2%). 5 (6.5%) accounts had no hand-related content. 934 hand-related hashtags were used, with 75.4% used on hand-related and 24.6% on non-hand-related posts. The most frequently used hashtags were #handsurgery (567), #hand (42), and #handsurgeon (42). Program ranking, geographic region, age, affiliation with hand fellowship, and engagement score were not significantly associated with proportion of hand-related content
Conclusion: Under 10% of content featured by integrated plastic surgery residency program Instagram accounts is hand-related. Hand surgery hashtag usage is relatively limited to hand-related content. Given that hand surgery represents one of multiple core competencies, future research is needed comparing proportions of content dedicated to each plastic surgery subspecialty.


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