The poll also showed that surgeons who primarily perform cosmetic plastic surgery and who are in private practice were more likely to use social media.
When asked their reasons for using these tools, most responded that incorporating social media into medical practice was inevitable. About half said that social media was an effective marketing tool and a useful forum for patient education.
About one-third of plastic surgeons saw positive effects from using social media, saying they felt it provided an effective, low-cost means of advertising and increased the exposure of their practice. Roughly half believed that engaging in social media led to increased patient referrals and positive feedback.
A small proportion of plastic surgeons (1.5 percent) reported that using social media had a negative effect on their practice. Yet while some surgeons had received criticism or negative commentary from patients via social media, most thought these criticisms had not harmed their practice.
Those plastic surgeons who didn't use social media cited a number of reasons why, including a desire to maintain a sense of professionalism, protecting patient confidentiality and concerns about becoming too accessible.
Approximately one-fourth of respondents felt that ASPS and other governing bodies should provide some oversight and monitoring of plastic surgeons' use of social medial to ensure ethical online behavior.
The new study shows that many plastic surgeons have joined the social media revolution and believe it has benefited their practice in various ways. However, they also perceive a need for standards of practice and oversight to ensure appropriate and ethical use.
"Because of our current level of engagement with existing online content, plastic surgeons are uniquely poised to become leaders in developing the future of social media architecture to the maximum benefit of practitioners and patients a
|Contact: Amy Albin|
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences