Today we have the privilege of hearing from Dr. Azita G. Hamedani MD, MPH, MBA, founding chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (UWSMPH). Under her leadership, the department has grown exponentially, growing from 6 to 36 residents, from 14 to 45 faculty while experiencing a 100% increase in patient volume. For showing exemplary skills in leadership, clinical quality, operations and healthcare finance she has been awarded – amongst other awards – both ACEP’s Outstanding ED Medical Director of the Year Award and the Association of Women in Academic Emergency Medicine Early Career Award. But beyond numbers and awards Dr. Hamedani is known for fostering the academic spirit at UWSMPH, elevating the department renowned to a national level. Below, she shares her tips on efficiency and getting things done.
- Name: Azita G. Hamedani
- Location: Madison, Wisconsin
- Current job: Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
- One word that best describes how you work: Non-stop
- Current mobile device: Samsung – Galaxy S6
- Current computer: Dell – Latitude E7540
What’s your office workspace setup like?
Anywhere that I can hook up my computer to Wi-Fi and have space for my external mouse – hotels, airports, kitchen table, library, pool.
What’s your best time-saving tip in the office or home?
- For the office, keep your own calendar. Only you can decide who gets bumped for whom, how much time to put in for travel, whether you can skip out on a meeting early to get to the next, and how to stack them so you aren’t coming in for only a single low-yield meeting.
- For the home, try to touch non-work related paper (e.g. mail and kid’s school stuff) only once – pay it, RSVP, log it, set up reminder, etc. – do whatever you need to do with it and be done with it.
What’s your best time-saving tip regarding email management?
- Blind cc yourself for any ‘work’ you send out via email, so it stays as a tickler in your inbox for if/when you receive a response or the work product back – best way to delegate while maintaining accountability.
- Color code with at least 5 colors (as long as easy to do) so that you can quickly jump back to what needs your attention.
What’s your best time-saving tip in the ED?
Set up your EMR system so that it alerts you anytime a lab comes back on your patient – EPIC has this functionality. Wish it would do the same for Rads…
ED charting: Macros or no macros?
Macros for Review of Systems and Physical Exam, but NOT Medical Decision Making.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about work, life, or being efficient?
There is no such thing as well-balanced, only constant juggling. Know your priorities, juggle only with those balls that are most important to you (the rest are just distractions), know when a ball needs your attention and attend to it before it hits the ground. All the balls are important, but not all the balls need the same amount of attention all the time. And when a particular ball does need attention, whether personal or professional, it is okay to put the others on hold.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers?
I keep a detailed to do list, by day, by week, by month, by quarter, by year(s) – I keep it as an electronic word document, periodically update, and then print out again. Always good to keep track of what needs to get done in the short, intermediate, & long term. Also, easy place to jot down ‘what should get done’ – but just not now!
Who would you love for us to track down to answer these same questions?
- Dr. Jen Wiler
- Dr. Arjun Venkatesh