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Study Shows Facebook is a Productive Tool for Radiology

In many professions, Facebook is considered a dangerous time waster, but for radiologists, the social media platform has become a necessary tool in nurturing community education. A new study from the department of radiology at Emory University School of Medicine has found that physicians could professionally benefit from engaging in radiology subspecialty Facebook groups.

The researchers led by Rebecca L. Seidel, MD, assistant professor of breast imaging, observed the activity of Breast Imaging Radiologists Facebook group (BIRFG) from its first day on Facebook (February 11, 2015) through February 12, 2017. They thoroughly analyzed member data not just through clicking on profiles, but extensively searching US News Doctor Finder, Doximity, and Google.

Over the course of two years, membership grew from just one member to 774. They found that 84 percent of members were female, a just over half (55 percent) were active participants throughout those two years.

In this time span, the researchers counted 493 posts, 92 percent of which accrued a total of 3,253 comments and 1,732 reactions. They found that each post had an average of 6.6 comments.

“Our findings indicate that radiologists find value in using Facebook groups as a forum to network and exchange information about breast imaging,” write the researchers. “This may be generalizable to other radiology subspecialties. Given the popularity and accessibility of Facebook for personal use, it may prove a more comfortable social medium for radiologists to interact professionally.”

Are you active on your subspecialty Facebook page? Check out some of Facebook’s most lively radiology groups: radRounds, Radiology Technologists, Ultrasound Technologists, and Sonographers.

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