ABSTRACT: The emerging role of social media in urology.
Social media have become so integrated into modern communications as to be universal in our personal and, increasingly, professional lives. Recent examples of social media uptake in urology, and the emergence of data to quantify it, reveal the expansion of conventional communication routes beyond the in-person forum. In every domain of urologic practice, from patient interaction through research to continuing professional development, the move online has unlocked another layer of conversation, dissemination, and, indeed, caveats. Social media have a democratizing effect, placing patients, trainees, practitioners, and thought leaders in the same arena and on equal footing. If uptake of social media in medicine even remotely parallels its rise to ubiquity in other areas, it will only expand and evolve in the coming years. For these reasons, this article presents an overview of the most recent data on the impact and potential complications of social media usage in the urologic community.