Increasing Social Media Use in Urology: 2017 American Urological Association Survey

Eur Urol Focus. 2020 May 15;6(3):605-608. doi: 10.1016/j.euf.2019.07.004. Epub 2019 Jul 24.


The use of social media is growing rapidly in health care. The purpose of this study was to provide updated data on utilization of social media in urology. A survey was emailed to 19 840 American Urological Association (AUA) members in September 2017, and responses were compared to our previous survey in 2013. Overall, 74% of 1731 respondents have a social media account. Facebook and YouTube were the platforms most commonly used. However, use of Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest significantly increased. Among social media users, 33% agreed that it has impacted their practice, and one-third have followed a medical conference remotely. At the 2018 AUA meeting (#AUA18), there were 18,863 tweets from 3887 contributors, which achieved 73,878 million impressions, a significant increase since 2013. More than half of users were not familiar with professional guidelines on social media. The most common reasons for non-use were not seeing any value and not wanting invasion of privacy. In conclusion, social media use has increased substantially in urology, providing opportunities for global conference participation and influencing clinical practice for a substantial proportion of users. Professional standards for online conduct should be integrated into medical education as use of social media continues to increase. PATIENT SUMMARY: The use of social media in urology has increased over time. Although Facebook and YouTube are the platforms most commonly used, use of Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest has significantly increased over time. Use of social media at medical conferences has increased over time, and a substantial proportion of urologists reported that social media influenced their clinical practice.

Keywords: Facebook; Instagram; Pinterest; Social media; Twitter; Urology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Social Media / statistics & numerical data*
  • Societies, Medical
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Urology*