DOI: 10.5858/arpa.2022-0463-ra ISSN:

A Reassessment of the Impact and Significance of Social Media to Pathology

Stephanie J. T. Chen, Megan I. Samuelson, Anand Rajan KD
  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • General Medicine
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


Social media (SM) use in pathology and medicine today is widespread, receives active advocacy, and is said to bring a host of benefits. In latter days, the harmful effects of SM have received attention, but they have yet been followed by greater encouragement of professionalized SM usage. SM use in medicine has seen adoption in parallel to its general ascendancy, even though the platforms are products with purposes misaligned with the practice of medicine.


To (1) characterize premises and forces that propel professional SM platform adoption and use, and (2) examine wide-ranging literature, both medical and nonmedical, that substantiates the premises and to find counteracting perspectives and evidence.

Data Sources.—

Review of the literature using relevant keyword searches in PubMed, Google Scholar, Dimensions, and Web of Science for articles that study/describe professional SM use in pathology and medicine. Additionally, we examined business, technology, and social sciences literature and high-quality gray literature (newspapers, books, blogs) that addressed questions in relation to the topic of professional SM adoption.


We identified 6 major premises as motivators of professional SM use and highlight significant counteracting factors. We conclude that the harms of professionalized SM use have not been fully considered in the medical literature and that a change in direction and the creation of new communication platforms would be beneficial.

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