Opinion: Should clinicians use emojis when they communicate with each other?

When a colleague of mine wanted to discuss a new and somewhat out-of-left-field research project that centered around the use of emojis in digital health care communication, I blanched. To the best of my recollection, I blurted, “Emojis have no place in medicine.”

I’m a practicing ear, nose, and throat physician and also serve as the chief medical officer for a company that provides communication technology for health care organizations. My experience in one world often informs my decisions in the other. In this instance, thinking about doctors and nurses exchanging emojis as part of caring for patients triggered an immediate “BAD IDEA” alert in my brain.

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