Closed Facebook™ groups and CME credit: a new format for continuing medical education

Omar Ghanem, Heather J. Logghe, Benjamin V. Tran, Desmond Huynh, Brian Jacob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: The International Hernia Collaboration (IHC) is a closed Facebook™ group that allows international surgeons to post clinical questions and exchange transparent feedback with the intent to optimize patient outcomes. Despite the educational value of closed FB groups, CME credits have not been available to members. To determine feasibility of and user interest in earning CME credit through social media, the IHC piloted a series of expert lectures followed by an interactive Facebook Live session as a novel pathway offering CME credit. Methods: Nine monthly lectures and Facebook Live sessions were presented. CME credit was offered for the final seven lectures. Participation in the form of views, comments, and likes was quantified by a Facebook analytics service and an engagement score, defined as [(the number of comments × 2) + (the number of reactions)], was calculated for each lecture and Facebook Live session. CME credit was obtained through a two-question quiz. Results: Of 5400 + Facebook members of the IHC, an average of 1116 (20.4 ± 4.0%) viewed the live session event following each lecture (n = 9 events). The average Facebook engagement score for Facebook Live was 259 ± 75, a significant difference with the average Facebook engagement score on the IHC (40.8) over the same time period (p < 0.001). On average, 16 users [range 8–35, (n = 7 events)] claimed CME credit for each educational series. Conclusions: Closed Facebook groups can be a useful media to offer educational content and CME credit. The pilot IHC Lecture and Facebook Live series offering CME credit resulted in significantly more engagement amongst its members compared to other posts during the same time period. A small portion of participants qualified for CME credit. Future social media educational series may increase participants qualifying for CME by streamlining the interface to obtain CME credit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-591
Number of pages5
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2019


  • Continuing medical education
  • General surgery
  • Hernia
  • Hernia surgery
  • Social media
  • Surgical education


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