J reconstr Microsurg 2019; 35(06): 452-461
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1677765
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Impact of Social Media on Current Medical Conferences

Jennifer An-Jou Lin
1  Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
,
Angela Ting-Wei Hsu
1  Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
2  Department of Medicine, Mackay Medical College, New Taipei City, Taiwan
,
Jung-Ju Huang
1  Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
,
Bassem W. Daniel
1  Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
,
Che-Hsiung Lee
1  Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
,
1  Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
,
Evelyn Ting-Hsuan Tang
1  Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
2  Department of Medicine, Mackay Medical College, New Taipei City, Taiwan
,
Cheng-Feng Chu
1  Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
,
Cheng-An Tony Chien
3  Department of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
,
David Chwei-Chin Chuang
1  Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
,
Johnny Chuieng-Yi Lu
1  Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
,
Isao Koshima
4  International Center for Lymphedema, Hiroshima University Hospital, Hiroshima, Japan
,
Zeng-Tao Wang
5  Department of Hand and Foot Surgery, Shangdong Provincial Hospital affiliated to Shangdong University, Shandong, China
,
Liwen Hao
5  Department of Hand and Foot Surgery, Shangdong Provincial Hospital affiliated to Shangdong University, Shandong, China
,
Chao Chen
5  Department of Hand and Foot Surgery, Shangdong Provincial Hospital affiliated to Shangdong University, Shandong, China
,
Tommy Nai-Jen Chang
1  Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

02 October 2018

09 December 2018

Publication Date:
13 February 2019 (eFirst)

Abstract

Background Medical conferences are forums for research, continuing medical education, and networking. Social media is increasingly used for communication and networking due to its low cost and ability to overcome large distances. This study investigates the impact that social media brings to the current conference system.

Methods There are three parts of this study: (1) comparing two similar brachial plexus injuries (BPIs) courses without (2009) and with (2017) social media support, and the participants' feedback; (2) sharing our experiences in the management of the 2018 International Course on SuperMicrosurgery (ICSM) conference; and (3) evaluating the studies from the social media platform International Microsurgery Club (IMC), for the consensus pertaining to social media and conference system.

Results With the help of social media, international attendance increased during the 2017 BPI conference compared with the 2009 BPI course (25 nationalities in 2009 vs. 35 in 2017). At least 23% obtained their meeting information through social media. Live surgery was the overall main attraction (79%). The 2018 ICSM meeting revealed that video posts increased attendance; videos that were the most effective in attracting (viewership) were either short or pertained to surgical procedures. Facebook, Messenger, and WeChat smartphone applications were effective for immediate communication and troubleshooting among the participants. From the IMC polls, 78% believe that the social media and the conference complemented each other. 97% attended the conference to update their skills and knowledge.

Conclusion Social media is a quick and economic tool in promoting medical conferences and instant messenger systems offer immediate communication amongst associates. Despite the popularity of social media, the conference still has its irreplaceable role. The combination of the conference and the social media enhances the training and education of microsurgeons.

Financial Disclosure

None of the authors has financial interests in any of the products, devices, or drugs mentioned in this manuscript.