Utilization of Instagram by Psychiatry Residency Programs in a Virtual Recruitment World

Simone A. Bernstein, Tara G. Harmon, Kristina Cabañez, Chapman Wei, Jessica A. Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Many psychiatry residency programs use Instagram to provide information about their program. This study assesses the content and engagement on psychiatry residency program Instagram accounts. Methods: A full list of psychiatry programs was gathered from the American Medical Association Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database (FREIDA). FREIDA was used to collect demographic information about a program. Program Instagram accounts were reviewed and assessed for content, and engagement scores were analyzed. Univariate and multivariate regression was used to analyze the information collected from the Instagram accounts. Results: There are 109 (42.9%) psychiatry residency programs with Instagram accounts; 99 (90.8%) accounts were opened in 2020. Analysis of the content of posts revealed posts with the following themes: 50.5% were departmental, 21.9% were social, 14.9% were other, 10.1% were academic and professional, and 2.6% were educational. Using multivariate regression, a higher total number of followers was correlated with the total number of accounts followed (p ≤ 0.001) and Instagram stories (p = 0.047) (R2 = 0.579). Engagement score was correlated with a total number of followers (p ≤ 0.001), program size (p = 0.048), and whether an account was active (p = 0.003) (R2 = 0.450). Conclusion: Results demonstrate that 2020 led to an increase in the number of psychiatry residency program Instagram accounts and engagement with followers. Instagram provides a way to further promote a program, yet there is room for improvement to diversify the content.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)746-750
Number of pages5
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Instagram
  • Psychiatry residency
  • Recruitment
  • Social media


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