Rationale and objectives: Although it is perceived that the use of social media professionally is increasing among radiologists, little is known about the habits and demographics of this subspecialty. This study aims to compare radiologists who use social networking for professional purposes to those who do not with regard to their characteristics, habits, and attitudes.
Materials and methods: Radiologists were invited by e-mail and through posts on social networks to participate in a survey on the use of social media platforms. Questions included type of user, pattern of use, and benefits and barriers. Professional users and professional nonusers were compared.
Results: One hundred eighty-six radiologists responded. One hundred ten (59.1%) used social networking for professional purposes, 34 (18.2%) for personal-use only, and 42 (22.6%) denied using social media. LinkedIn was the most common platform among all professional users, and Twitter was the most commonly used platform among highly active professional users. Trainees comprised 52 out of 110 (47.3%) professional social networking users compared to 18 out of 76 (23.7%) nonusers (P < 0.01). A subgroup analysis on Twitter use for professional purposes revealed a significant gender difference: 15 out of 66 (22.7%) professional Twitter users were female compared to 48 out of 120 (40.0%) non-Twitter users (P < 0.05). The greatest barrier to professional social media use for nonusers was confidentiality.
Conclusion: Nearly 60% of radiologist respondents use social networking for professional purposes. Radiology is likely to see growth in the role of social networking in the coming years as nearly half of professional users are radiology trainees. Twitter use for professional purposes among radiologists was disproportionately male. It is important to be cognizant of gender imbalance and to improve visibility of female leaders on social networking.
Keywords: Social media; professional; radiology; social network; survey.
Copyright © 2017 The Association of University Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.