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October 2018

Professional and Patient Engagement, Visual Abstracts, and Applications to Otolaryngology—Social Media’s Siren Call

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018;144(10):865-866. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2018.1667

Social media’s meteoric rise in both popularity and function is reflected in the personal and professional spheres. Billions of individuals log on each day in search of compelling content. Social media usage is near universal in Americans aged 18 to 24 years; three-quarters of all other adults are active online. Patients are increasingly using social media for peer-to-peer health care, community building, and crowdsourcing answers to individual clinical questions. In fact, 80% of Americans seek health information online. In medicine, social media usage by physicians has risen from 41% in 2010 to 90% in 2011.1 Anecdotally, many of us have experienced falling down the social media rabbit hole as 1 interesting article leads to a never-ending path of similar posts. As such, it behooves us to respond to social media’s siren call to curate informational content and meaningfully engage with other professionals and our patients.

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