Do Vascular Surgeons have a Meaningful and Interactive Presence on Social Media? - The Impact of the SAVS Region
Qi Yan, Katherine J Jensen, Rose Thomas, Alyssa R Langley, Zheng Jiang, Christian Goei, Mark G Davies
UT Health San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
INTRODUCTION: Internet has become a popular platform for patients to obtain information and review the providers they interact with. However, little is known on the digital footprint of vascular surgeons and their interactivity with patients on social media. We aim to understand the activity of academic vascular surgeon on physician rating websites.
METHODS: Information on attending vascular surgeons affiliated with vascular residency or fellowships in the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery were collected. Websites containing physician rating was obtained via literature review and google search. Open access websites that contain either qualitative or quantitative evaluation of vascular surgeons within the SAVS region were included. Ranking scores from each website were converted to standard 5-point scale for comparison. Data analysis was performed using SPSS.
RESULTS: A total 4294 quantitative and 789 qualitative reviews were written for 238 physicians (194 male, 81.5%) across 11 websites that met inclusion criteria (N=41). Ninety-six (40.3%) physicians were members of Society of Vascular Surgery and 61 (25.6%) were member of other vascular societies while the remainder did not disclose. Surgeons in the SAVS region had profiles on 7ą2 (meanąSD) website with only one surgeon having zero profiles. Yelp was the least represented (44, 18%) while USNews&World Report listed the most (222, 93%). Over 80% of profiles on Yelp and RateMD and over 25% of profiles on Dr.score.com, Wellness.com, and YP.com had less than 50% of the requested information. Most (87%) physician profiles were accurate reflecting correct demographic affiliations and practice. The median number of quantitative reviews was 12 (IQR; 2, 23) and qualitative reviews was 2 (0, 5). The physician with most quantitative reviews had 137 reviews across 11 websites and most qualitative review had 28. Fourteen percent of physicians had zero quantitative reviews and 29% had zero qualitative review. Only 26% of physicians have more than 5 reviews across 11 physician rating sites. Vitals and Healthgrades were the only sites where over half of the physicians had at least one quantitative review. They were also the two websites that had most reviews: Vital had 1435 quantitative review and 128 qualitative reviews, Healthgrades had 1025 quantitative review and 112 qualitative reviews. The median score for quantitative review was 4.4 (IQR; 3.9, 4.8). Most qualitative reviews by patients were positive 623, followed by 153 negative reviews, and 13 neutral reviews (N=785). Six hundred and four readers indicated that they found the qualitative reviews helpful while 112 found these reviews unhelpful. No statistical difference was found in the number of quantitative reviews or overall average score in physicians with versus without social media profiles. No physician responded to patient's reviews.
CONCLUSIONS: Vascular representation on physician rating websites is varied with the majority of vascular surgeons only represented on the top half of the physician rating websites. The number of quantitative and qualitative reviews are low. No surgeon responded to reviews. The activity of vascular surgeons in this area of social media is low and reflects a small digital footprint that patients can reach and review.
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