#ENT: Otolaryngology Residency Programs Create Social Media Platforms to Connect With Applicants During COVID-19 Pandemic.
To determine which otolaryngology residency programs have social media platforms and to review which programs are utilizing platforms to advertise virtual open houses and virtual subinternships for residency applicants.Cross-sectional study.The study was conducted online by reviewing all accredited otolaryngology residency programs in the United States participating in the Electronic Residency Application Service.Otolaryngology residency programs were reviewed for social media presence on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Social media posts were evaluated for virtual open houses and virtual subinternships. Residency websites and the Visiting Student Application Service were evaluated for the presence of virtual subinternships. All data were collected between September 5, 2020, and September 9, 2020. This study did not require approval from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Institutional Review Board for Human Use.Among 118 otolaryngology residency programs, 74 (62.7%) participate on Instagram, 52 (44.1%) participate on Twitter, and 44 (37.3%) participate on Facebook. Fifty-one Instagram accounts, 20 Twitter accounts, and 4 Facebook accounts have been created during 2020. Forty-two (36%), 30 (25.4%), and 15 (13%) programs are promoting virtual open houses on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, respectively. Two programs on the Visiting Student Application Service offered virtual subinternships. Seven residency program websites offered virtual subinternships. Nine, 6, and 1 program offered virtual subinternships on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, respectively.This study demonstrates that social media presence on Instagram and Twitter among otolaryngology residency programs has substantially grown in 2020 at a higher rate compared to previous years. These data suggest that otolaryngology residency programs are finding new ways to reach out to applicants amid an unprecedented type of application cycle due to the challenges presented by COVID-19. Many programs are advertising virtual open houses via social media platforms to connect with applicants, and a few programs are offering virtual subinternships to replace traditional subinternships.