Background: Websites and applications emphasizing communication, content-sharing, and collaboration are collectively referred to as social media. We aim to assess the relationship between dermatologists’ use of social media and its effect on their practice in Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study from August to September 2022 in selected private and government dermatological clinics in different areas in Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. All participants were dermatologists who completed a self-administered questionnaire. We used IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 26.0 (Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.) for statistical analysis.
Results: Sixty-eight dermatologists participated in this study. Forty-seven (69.1%) stated that they used social media in their daily practice and 21 (30.8%) stated that they did not. The most common platform used was Twitter, used by 68%. Patients who used social media had increased expectations compared to patients of dermatologists that did not. Of the 47 social media users, 27 (57%) use it daily for 3-4 hours. Education was the most common purpose of using social media (n = 19; 40%).
Conclusion: The results did not show a significant difference in monthly income between dermatologists who use social media and those who do not. However, more research is necessary to fully understand how social media and digital communication affect dermatology and how it could be implemented in the healthcare setting.
Key words: Social media, dermatology practice, dermatologists, income.