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Purpose Pharmacy residency program directors’ attitudes and opinions regarding the use of social media in residency recruitment and selection were studied.
Methods A 24-item questionnaire was developed, pilot tested, revised, and sent to 996 residency program directors via SurveyMonkey.com. Demographic, social media usage, and opinions on social media data were collected and analyzed.
Results A total of 454 residency program directors completed the study (response rate, 46.4%). The majority of respondents were women (58.8%), were members of Generation X (75.4%), and worked in a hospital or health system (80%). Most respondents (73%) rated themselves as either nonusers or novice users of social media. Twenty percent indicated that they had viewed a pharmacy residency applicant’s social media information. More than half (52%) had encountered e-professionalism issues, including questionable photos and posts revealing unprofessional attitudes, and 89% strongly agreed or agreed that information voluntarily published online was fair game for judgments on character, attitudes, and professionalism. Only 4% of respondents had reviewed applicants’ profiles for residency selection decisions. Of those respondents, 52% indicated that the content had no effect on resident selection. Over half of residency program directors were unsure whether they will use social media information for future residency selection decisions.
Conclusion Residency program directors from different generations had different views regarding social media information and its use in residency applicant selections. Residency program directors anticipated using social media information to aid in future decisions for resident selection and hiring.
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