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Social media utilisation by ophthalmic and non-ophthalmic resident doctors in Nigeria

O.U. Kolawole, M.A. Isawumi


Objectives: The use of social media (SM) in medical specialties has not been well studied in Nigeria. Thus, this study compared utilisation of social media between Ophthalmologists-in-training and trainees in other medical specialties.
Methods: Semi-structured self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information on SM use from the participants. Descriptive and inferential statistics (Chi-squared and t-test) were used to analyse the data.
Results: Almost all the respondents had at least one active social media account. WhatsApp and Facebook were the preferred SM platforms among the respondents. Ophthalmologists-in-training usually used SM to access academic resources (77.8%) while other trainees used SM to share information on difficult clinical cases (80.2%). Both groups found WhatsApp and YouTube very useful in their practice. Impediments to realizing the potentials of SM in medical practice included poor internet services (85.5%), poor electricity supply (55.4%), privacy and ethical issues (36.2%).
Conclusion: Most resident doctors in Nigeria are actively using SM for social interactions, professional development and academic pursuits. Its full potentials in medical practice are yet to be utilized. Resolution of crisis in the power sector in Nigeria and provision of internet services in tertiary hospitals in Nigeria would enhance the realization of full benefits of SM in healthcare delivery.

Key-words: Social media, WhatsApp, YouTube, Resident Doctors, Nigeria
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