Purpose: The utility of social media in oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMS) residency programs has never been investigated, despite the increasing popularity of such platforms in academic medicine. As a specialty that strives for constant innovation, it is important for OMS programs to participate in the emerging concept of incorporating social media into medical and surgical education. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the use of Instagram in OMS residency programs in the United States. Methods: A cross-sectional study of Instagram search data was performed. The Instagram accounts of OMS residency programs were searched, and their metrics were retrieved from June 1 to June 5, 2020. Factors correlated with the total number of followers were identified. The use of Instagram in OMS residency programs was compared with that in other related dental and surgical residency programs. Results: Only 17 (18.7%) of 91 OMS residency programs had an Instagram account. The number of programs with Instagram accounts exhibited linear growth (R2 = 0.98) since December 2018. The median number of followers was 326 (range, 94 to 2,152), and the median number of posts was 9 (range, 2 to 40). The number of Instagram followers was positively correlated with the number of accounts followed, the number of total posts, and the number of educational posts, and it was negatively correlated with the Instagram engagement rate. Instagram presence did not differ among residency programs for orthodontics (18.2%), periodontics (5.5%), and OMS (P = .067). However, Instagram presence in OMS residency programs was significantly lower than that in plastic surgery (74.7%; P < .001) and otolaryngology residency programs (35.0%; P = .011). Conclusions: Instagram use in OMS residency programs is growing but is significantly lower than that in related surgical fields. This may represent a missed opportunity for promoting collaboration and efficiently delivering useful information to trainees.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery