Sharing individual experiences, asking questions about work environments, guidelines, and policies and
supporting each other’s achievements and endeavors are a few examples of the connections female
radiologists and other physicians have made through social media.
Social Media: Connecting Female
Radiologists One Click at a Time
It is well-known that participation in social media has benefits of information, socialization, and entertainment by connect- ing online users with people who share mutual interests [ 1,
2]. Additionally, there is a strong perception that online social
networking results in reduced stress levels, greater mental and
physical well-being, and greater emotional support [ 3, 4].
In late 2014, the Physicians Mom Group (PMG) was founded
by a female physician who is a parent and had the goal of providing a space for women in medicine to connect online for collaboration, encouragement, and medical expertise purposes [ 5]. By
late 2016, this social network of female physicians had grown to
include more than 60,000 members worldwide with multiple daily posts. In early 2016, the Facebook group “Radiology Chicks”
was formed with a similar goal of bringing together women who
specialize in radiology. Within a few short months, the group had
grown to include more than 2000 female radiologists.
Participation in these social media groups has helped female
physicians connect with each other to discuss a myriad of topics, with one of the most common discussions being gender dis-parities. Anecdotally, we have witnessed and participated in
discussions on topics that may affect female physicians differently than male physicians, such as parental leave, perceptions
and treatment of female physicians in comparison with male
colleagues, flexibility in practice, partnership tracks, contracts,
burnout, and much more.
Women in Radiology: Bre
Centura Health Physicians Group,
Centura Breast Imaging
Jenny T. Bencardino
New York University School
Online Networking Gives “Radiology Chicks” an Opportunity to
New York University Langone
New York University Hospital for
Department of Radiology
Discuss Careers, Families, and Other Experiences
Almost weekly, a woman will post about female physician
burnout and seek support or guidance on how to manage it.
Often the posts are similar as respondents acknowledge the
stress and share personal experiences while offering advice on
options to deal with burnout. The most common recommendations include considering part-time jobs, exercise, eating well,
and web links to blog posts or videos [ 6]. While the American
Medical Association has created modules to assist physicians
with burnout ( https://www.stepsforward.org/) and hosted a
sold-out conference on the issue, the topic continues to be discussed on social media.
Additionally, we find that many female physicians discuss
their concerns regarding parenting, breastfeeding, and gender
roles or parental bias on social media. There is a documented difference between maternity leave policies and the effect on health
and well-being of mothers and children in America compared
with working mothers in other countries. Paid and adequate parental leave results in fewer symptoms of depression, increased
adherence to breastfeeding, and decreased perception of burnout in physicians in other countries [ 7, 8, 9]. Unfortunately, what
we read on social media and know from research is that parental
leave policies differ across the United States and among different
hospitals and residency programs [ 10, 11, 12].
Sharing individual experiences, asking questions about work
environments, guidelines, and policies and supporting each oth-