Microsurgery Fellowship Website and Social Media Presence: Are Programs Optimizing Recruitment Strategy?
Background Microsurgery fellowship applicants make decisions for future training based on information obtained from colleagues, mentors, and microsurgery fellowship program Websites (MFWs). In this study, we sought to evaluate the accessibility and quality of available information by microsurgery programs by analyzing the most commonly used web resources and social media outlets for applicants.
Methods The San Francisco (SF) Match and American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery Websites were queried in April 2020 for microsurgery fellowship programs (MFPs) participating in the SF Match. Twenty-two independent variables of information were assessed on MFWs based on previously published data. Social media presence was also assessed by querying Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for official hospital, plastic surgery residency, and microsurgery fellowship accounts.
Results All 24 MFWs participating in the SF Match had a webpage. Program description, faculty listing, operative volume, and eligibility requirements were listed for all programs (100%). The majority of MFWs listed affiliated hospitals (75%), provided a link to the fellowship application (66.7%), listed interview dates (66.7%), and highlighted research interests (50%). A minority of MFWs provided information on conference schedule (37.5%), current fellow listing (25%), previous fellow listing (16.67%), and positions held by previous fellows (8.33%). No MFWs (0%) presented information on selection process, or rotation schedule.
All hospitals with an MFP had a Facebook page and nearly all had Instagram (83.3%) and Twitter accounts (95.8%). Plastic surgery residency programs at the same institution of an MFP had social media presence on Facebook (38.9%), Twitter (38.9%), and Instagram (66.7%). Only three MFPs had Facebook accounts (12.5%) and none had Instagram or Twitter accounts.
Conclusion As the field of microsurgery continues to grow, the need for effective recruitment and training of microsurgeons continues to be essential. Overall, we conclude that both the accessibility and quality of information available to applicants are limited, which is a missed opportunity for recruitment.
Received: 17 June 2020
Accepted: 25 August 2020
29 September 2020 (online)
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