Background : Twitter is increasingly recognized as an instructional tool by the emergency medicine (EM) community. In 2012, the Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine (CORD) recommended that EM residency programs' Twitter accounts be managed solely by faculty. To date, little has been published regarding the patterns of Twitter use by EM residency programs.
Objective : We analyzed current patterns in Twitter use among EM residency programs with accounts and assessed conformance with CORD recommendations.
Methods : In this mixed methods study, a 6-question, anonymous survey was distributed via e-mail using SurveyMonkey. In addition, a Twitter-based search was conducted, and the public profiles of EM residency programs' Twitter accounts were analyzed. We calculated descriptive statistics and performed a qualitative analysis on the data.
Results : Of 168 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited EM programs, 88 programs (52%) responded. Of those programs, 58% (51 of 88) reported having a program-level Twitter account. Residents served as content managers for those accounts in the majority of survey respondents (61%, 28 of 46). Most programs did not publicly disclose the identity or position of their Twitter content manager. We found a wide variety of applications for Twitter, with EM programs most frequently using Twitter for educational and promotional purposes. There is significant variability in the numbers of followers for EM programs' Twitter accounts.
Conclusions : Applications and usage among EM residency programs are varied, and are frequently not consistent with current CORD recommendations.
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