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Study analyzes Twitter representation among academic urologists

Article

Urologic oncology represented the largest subspecialty on Twitter with 225 active members and the highest followers, likes, and tweets per day.

A recent study analyzed Twitter presence and interaction among specialties of academic urologists. The data were presented in the Société Internationale d'Urologie Journal.1

Among the 2377 faculty identified, 945 (39.7%) had a registered Twitter account.

Among the 2377 faculty identified, 945 (39.7%) had a registered Twitter account.

The investigators, led by Spencer H. Bell, MD, of Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, identified 94,000 tweets by academic urologists using the Twitter Developer Program. They defined academic urologists based on American Urological Association (AUA) residency program registration, which includes 143 residency programs and yielded a total of 2377 faculty. Fellowships included in the analysis were categorized into andrology, endourology, female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery (FPMRS), general, oncology, pediatrics, reconstruction, robotics, and transplant.

Among the 2377 faculty identified, 945 (39.7%) had a registered Twitter account. The majority of these accounts were held by male academic urologists (759) compared with female academic urologists (185), but women were proportionally more likely to have a Twitter account overall (46%) compared with men (38.5%).

The data showed no notable change in faculty account registration during COVID-19 (2019-2020). There was a small spike in male faculty registration in 2014 (10.05% of accounts) and for female faculty in 2015 (2.65%).

Female faculty Twitter representation was proportionally highest for andrology (60%), reconstruction (60%), and endourology (58.06%). The proportional representation among male faculty was highest for andrology (48.59%), reconstruction (48.56%), and oncology (48.33%). General urology was found to have the lowest proportion of Twitter representation among both female (19.67%) and male (17.86%) faculty.

Residency programs with the highest proportion of faculty on Twitter were the University of Colorado (69.57%), Mayo Clinic Rochester (67.86%), and Case Western Reserve University (65.22%). The most frequently used hashtags by academic faculty since 2006 were #prostatecancer (5369), #urology (3851), #bladdercancer (3122), and #covid19 (2839). Dedicated hashtags for the AUA annual meeting were also frequently used. From 2013 to 2018, posts related to the AUA annual meeting increased 5-fold.

When divided by specialty, urologic oncology made up the highest total number of active Twitter users (225), with the highest number of total likes (143,261), followers (333,951), tweets per day (73.72), and tweets per user per day (0.32). Andrology and pediatric urology followed closely in tweets per user per day (0.29).

Tweet counts for faculty in urologic oncology peaked in September 2021 (529), January 2022 (724), and February 2022 (731). January and February peak trends were reflected in other specialties as well, in line with AUA Match. Other peaks among specialties tended to correspond with specialty meetings. During the week, tweet activity was lowest among academic urologists on Monday, and increased throughout the week, with a peak on Friday night.

When the data was analyzed within the lens of a specific topic (#aua21), investigators found that FPMRS and endourology made up the total highest number of intersubspecialty conversations. FPMRS also accounted for the most diverse interaction network among urology subspecialties.

Investigators also found that female academic urologists were more likely to mention or tweet to other male or female urologists in their posts compared with their male colleagues, who more often interacted with other male colleagues.

References

1. Bell SH, Sun C, Helstrom E, et al. Social media network analysis of academic urologists’ interaction within Twitter microblogging environment. Soc Int Urol J. Published online March 2023. Accessed March 20, 2023. 2023;4(2):96–104. doi:10.48083/TKEK6928.

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