Social Media Influence and Gender Are Correlated with Industry Payments to Orthopaedic Sports Surgeons.

Natalie L Leong
George Morcos MD, Lehigh Valley Health Network
Jie Jiang
Nathan O'Hara


Social media, specifically Twitter, has become an increasingly used tool in academic orthopaedic surgery to help surgeons connect with patients and peers. This study seeks to understand correlations among social medial influence, academic influence, and gender among academic orthopaedic sport surgeons. A list of all orthopaedic sports surgeons serving as faculty of sports fellowships in the United States was compiled, along with publicly available demographic information. Their Hirsh indices (h-indices) were obtained using the Scopus database. The Physician Payments Sunshine Act Web site was used to determine their industry payments from 2014 through 2020. The number of Twitter followers was used as a measure of social media influence. Multivariable linear regression models were employed to explore the associations between these parameters and industry payments. Of the 633 surgeons, 33% had a Twitter account. Surgeons with > 1,000 followers (7.3%) were awarded 186% more in nonresearch funding (