The Importance of Social Networks in Neurosurgery Training in Low/Middle income countries

De Jesus Encarnacion Ramirez, Manuel, Mukengeshay, Jeff N., Chumtin, Gennady, Nurmukhametov, Renat, Baldoncini, Matias, Lafuente, Jesus, Rosario, Andreina R., Kannan, Siddarth, Haidara, Aderehime et al (2024) The Importance of Social Networks in Neurosurgery Training in Low/Middle income countries. Frontiers in Surgery, 11 .

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Neurosurgery is evolving with new techniques and technologies, relies heavily on high-quality education and training. Social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn have become integral to this training. These platforms enable sharing of surgical experiences, fostering global knowledge-sharing and collaboration among neurosurgeons. According to the PICO format, the target population (P) for the purpose of this paper are medical students, neurosurgical residents and consultants on the role of social media (I) in neurosurgery among Low-Middle income countries (C) with the main outcome to understand the collaborative domain of learning.This cross-sectional survey, conducted in June-July 2023, involved 210 medical students, neurosurgery residents, fellows, and practicing neurosurgeons from low and middle-income countries. A structured questionnaire assessed social network usage for neurosurgery training, covering demographic details, usage frequency, and purposes like education, collaboration, and communication. Participants rated these platforms' effectiveness in training on a 1-5 scale. Data collection employed emails, social media groups, and direct messaging, assuring respondent anonymity. The survey aimed to understand and improve social networks' use in neurosurgery, focusing on professional development, challenges, and future potential in training.In a survey of 210 participants from low and middle-income countries, 85.5% were male, 14.5% female, with diverse roles: 42.9% neurosurgery residents, 40% practicing neurosurgeons, 14.6% medical students, and 2.4% other healthcare professionals. Experience ranged from 0 to 35 years, with Mexico, Nigeria, and Kenya being the top participating countries. Most respondents rated neurosurgery training resources in their countries as poor or very poor. 88.7% used social media professionally, predominantly WhatsApp and YouTube. Content focused on surgical videos, research papers, and webinars. Concerns included information quality and data privacy. Interactive case discussions, webinars, and lectures were preferred resources, and most see a future role for social media in neurosurgery training.Our study underscores the crucial role of social media in neurosurgery training and practice in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Key resources include surgical videos, research papers, and webinars. While social media offers a cost-effective, global knowledge-sharing platform, challenges like limited internet access, digital literacy, and misinformation risks remain significant in these regions.

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