The Role of Social Media in Psychiatry Recruitment: a Survey of Program Directors

Evelyn Ashiofu, Lia Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: This study assesses the utilization of social media profiles by psychiatry residency program directors when recruiting potential psychiatry residents and evaluates the attitudes of residency program directors toward social media profiles. Methods: In 2019, a 26-item survey was created via RedCap and sent to 239 program directors who participated in the 2019–2020 general psychiatry residency match. Program directors were asked about whether they reviewed the social media profile of applicants, when in the process, and whether decisions about ranking were made on the basis of the information found. Program directors were also asked about their general thoughts on social media. Results: Eighty-one responses were received (34% of program directors). The majority of respondents noted that they did not formally review the social media profile of applicants (n = 79; 97.5%). Ten of those 79 (12.7%) noted that they informally reviewed applicants’ social media profiles. Nearly all respondents of the survey either agreed or strongly agreed that a psychiatrist’s duty of professionalism extends to behavior on social media. Conclusion: This study shows that the majority of program directors surveyed are not formally using applicants’ social media profiles in psychiatry residency recruitment. Program directors are performing this practice informally, however, and are interested in formal guidance in this area. Given the increasing dialogue regarding social media use in medicine, future studies should assess for what constitutes unprofessional behavior as well as creation of more formal guidelines to help program directors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)742-745
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Professionalism
  • Recruitment
  • Residency
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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