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#vascular: Discussions Happening On Social Media Without Vascular Surgeons
Melissa Baldwin, MD, Daniel K. Han, MD, Sean Wengerter, MD, Ageliki Vouyouka, MD, Rami Tadros, MD, Michael Marin, MD, Peter Faries, MD.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.

Introduction: Social media is changing the way the world communicates, including the world of medicine. Physicians are increasingly engaging in platforms such as Twitter to discuss interesting cases, share recent journal articles, and further disease awareness. While many interventional radiologists and cardiologists have adopted Twitter as a means of communication, little is known about the contribution by vascular surgeons. The aim of this study was to evaluate vascular related key phrases on Twitter to determine vascular surgeon involvement in social media.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of “tweets” from July 2016 to January 2017 was performed. The following keywords were evaluated: #vascular, #endovascular, #PADAwareness, #peripheralarterydisease, #limbsalvage. The tweets were analyzed for identity of author and type of subject matter.
Results: Between July 2016 to January 2017, a total of 2,545 “tweets” were included for analysis. Of these, 638 non-medical related tweets were excluded. A total of 1,132 tweets including the keyword #vascular were identified. Vascular surgeons contributed 162 (14%) of these. Cardiologists (83 tweets, 7%) and vascular medicine physicians (155 tweets, 14%) also contributed to the discussion. The majority of tweets containing #vascular were posted by industry (301 tweets, 27%) and other (382 tweets, 34%) including healthcare organizations and foundations, journals, and other specialists or individuals.
Out of 516 total tweets using the keyword #endovascular, only 77 (15%) were contributed by vascular surgeons. Cardiologists (112 tweets, 22%), interventional radiologists (91 tweets, 18%), and interventional neurologists (92 tweets, 18%) all had greater usage of #endovascular.
When evaluating keywords related to peripheral artery disease (#PADawareness, #peripheralarterydisease, #limbsalvage), vascular surgeons contributed 26 (10%) out of a total 259 tweets. Medical device companies and industry were the dominant contributors with 113 (44%) tweets.
Conclusion: In this study we evaluated keywords that are highly relevant to our field to determine the participation of vascular surgery in social media. We found that vascular surgery presence was lacking compared to other specialties and individuals. As these platforms continue to expand with open discussion of medical information, it is important for vascular surgeons to be active participants.


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