As this series has progress, we have received a multitude of nominations for call-outs. One of the most popular requests was to have Dr. Amal Mattu (@amalmattu) share his efficiency secrets. Amal has blanketed the world of continuing medical education with didactics and workshops on ECG interpretation and faculty development skills. He authors the extremely popular Emergency ECG Video of the Week series and hosts a monthly EMCast podcast for He also the Consulting Editor for Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America. He does it all. When I emailed requesting his insights, I was surprised to hear his response.


Response from Dr. Amal Mattu

I’m the antithesis of the modern twitter/tech generation in terms of “working smart.” I don’t use Google Docs, Google Calendars, iCalendar, Dropbox, or any special technology. I don’t have any special method of organization except a folded piece of paper that I carry in my pocket and write notes on when something needs to be done… a paper to-do list. It’s just paper.



Where I do most of my work

I do most of my work not in my study or office, but on our kitchen table when kids are at school or in bed. If something needs to be done by a deadline, I write down the deadline and just do it. If something doesn’t need to be done right away, I don’t do it right away. No fancy organization.


My time

I make sure I spend time with the family and workout. I don’t watch much TV. I sleep 5-6 hours/night. When I travel, I work on the plane and in the hotel, I workout, eat room service, and get caught up on sleep.

I see lots of people spend hours and hours trying to get organized with different high-tech methods. I don’t worry about being organized… I just do what needs to be done in the order in which things need to be done. That’s really all I do.

Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Founder and CEO
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD


Professor of Emerg Med at UCSF-Zuckerberg SF General. ALiEM Founder @aliemteam #PostitPearls at Bio:
Michelle Lin, MD