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EDITORIAL COMMENT

      The use of social media has grown rapidly in the field of urology. This was further catalyzed by the COVID19 pandemic, when away rotations were cancelled, and residency interviews were converted to virtual. Recent data shows that 2020 had the greatest spike in Twitter activity from academic urology training programs, focusing primarily on education, and recruitment.
      • Manning E
      • Calaway A
      • Dubin JM
      • et al.
      Growth of the twitter presence of academic urology training programs and its catalysis by the COVID-19 pandemic.
      The current study is a survey of applicants to a single institution during the 2021 urology match. They confirmed that Twitter is the predominant social media platform for use related to the match, compared to Instagram. A substantial number of applicants newly created Twitter specifically during the match, and most applicants found it a helpful source to learn about events and information throughout the cycle. Many applicants also reported that the platform was helpful in fostering connections with other applicants. This aligns with previous research showing that urologists perceive Twitter as useful for professional networking.
      • Borgmann H
      • DeWitt S
      • Tsaur I
      • Haferkamp A
      • Loeb S
      Novel survey disseminated through twitter supports its utility for networking, disseminating research, advocacy, clinical practice and other professional goals.
      Despite the many potential benefits of social media, a word of caution is important. A recent survey of urology residency applicants and program directors revealed that both groups felt pressure to use social media.

      Heard JR, Wyant WA, Loeb S, Marcovich R, Dubin JM. Perspectives of residency applicants and program directors on the role of social media in the 2021 urology residency match. Urology. 2021;1:S0090-4295(21)00889-X. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2021.08.041. Epub ahead of print.

      Efforts are needed to ensure that social media use does not lead to burnout or other downstream harms.
      While the ability to easily connect with faculty and residents through social media has benefits, limitations exist in difficulty interpreting tone, and the risk of being perceived as unprofessional remains. Most urologists and urology trainees are not familiar with professional guidelines on social media use.
      • Dubin JM
      • Greer AB
      • Patel P
      • et al.
      Global survey of the roles and attitudes toward social media platforms amongst urology trainees.
      ,
      • Dubin JM
      • Greer AB
      • Patel P
      • et al.
      Global survey evaluating drawbacks of social media usage for practising urologists.
      With new social media platforms emerging frequently, the use of these by medical students, residents, urologists, and programs will continue to evolve with benefits including providing education to the general public, promoting diversity in urology, fostering research collaborations, and facilitating international networking. To fully capture these advantages and reduce the potential risks, more emphasis is needed on formally incorporating digital communications into medical education.

      References

        • Manning E
        • Calaway A
        • Dubin JM
        • et al.
        Growth of the twitter presence of academic urology training programs and its catalysis by the COVID-19 pandemic.
        Euro Urol. 2021; 80: 261-263
        • Borgmann H
        • DeWitt S
        • Tsaur I
        • Haferkamp A
        • Loeb S
        Novel survey disseminated through twitter supports its utility for networking, disseminating research, advocacy, clinical practice and other professional goals.
        Can Urol Assoc J. 2015; 9 (E713-7)
      1. Heard JR, Wyant WA, Loeb S, Marcovich R, Dubin JM. Perspectives of residency applicants and program directors on the role of social media in the 2021 urology residency match. Urology. 2021;1:S0090-4295(21)00889-X. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2021.08.041. Epub ahead of print.

        • Dubin JM
        • Greer AB
        • Patel P
        • et al.
        Global survey of the roles and attitudes toward social media platforms amongst urology trainees.
        Urology. 2021; 147: 64-67
        • Dubin JM
        • Greer AB
        • Patel P
        • et al.
        Global survey evaluating drawbacks of social media usage for practising urologists.
        BJU Int. 2020; 126: 7-8