Family physicians' utility of social media: a survey comparison among family medicine residents and physicians

Karim Syed Irfan*, Irfan Farhana, Al Faris Eiad, Al Maflehi Nassr, Al Qahtani Al Mohammed, Nadeem Maya, Al Hazmi Ali, Ahmed Abdullah, Ponnamperuma Gominda, Cees van der Vleuten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)


Introduction: Social media has become ubiquitous and has brought a dramatic change in health services. Little is known about its use by family physicians and residents for personal or professional purpose. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the utility of social media among family medicine residents and consultants. Methods: The collection of data was through the use of a five part questionnaire developed by researchers. The questionnaire was delivered to 70 physicians and 100 residents, out of which 132quesfionnaires were completed, representing a 78 percent response rate. Results: Our findings demonstrate that there was an overall high use of social media. Females used social media more for general education and professional purposes. Men, by contrast, used it more frequently for personal purposes. The participants in this study appeared to consider social media as having several useful dimensions, such as: enabling them to accomplish job tasks, improve job performance, productivity and more effective patient care when using social media. Conclusions: To date, limited studies have compared social media use among family physicians and residents. This study may serve as an initial step for future studies explaining the pattern of use among physicians.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-827
Number of pages11
JournalAfrican Health Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


  • social media
  • family physicians
  • learning
  • pattern of use
  • attitudes and gender differences

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