University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications


Social Media Utilization Among Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Massachusetts Medical Center; Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation

Publication Date


Document Type



Health Communication | Orthopedics | Social Media | Surgery


INTRODUCTION: Social media represents a novel platform for patient-physician interaction. Although social media utilization patterns have been analyzed in other fields, no such study has been performed in shoulder and elbow specialists.

METHODS: The membership database of the society of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons was queried. Online searches were performed to identify if each surgeon had professional profiles on popular social media platforms. A social media score was then calculated, defined as the number of active accounts. Statistical analysis was used to test for associations between demographics and social media utilization.

RESULTS: Six hundred seventy-six surgeons were analyzed. The average social media score was 1.61. The most highly used platform was LinkedIn (61%). The least used platform was Instagram (5% active, 11% total). Female surgeons were more likely to use Instagram than men (12.5% versus 4.9%). Academic surgeons were more likely to use ResearchGate (46.5% versus 33.3%), whereas private practice surgeons were more likely to have a website (19.9% versus 11.7%). Practitioners from the South had the lowest social media utilization.

CONCLUSIONS: Shoulder and elbow surgeons underuse social media. As the influence of social media continues to grow, it will be important for surgeons to implement social media within their practices.

DOI of Published Version



Narain AS, Dhayalan A, Weinberg M, Latario LD, Shuman ME, Bango J, Holmes S, Patel JK, Chan W, Aaron DL. Social Media Utilization Among Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2020 May 27. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-20-00085. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32467395. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

PubMed ID