How I Work Smarter: Katie Holmes, DO FACEP

One word that best describes how you work?

Hustle

Current mobile device

iPhone 12 Pro

Computer

Macbook Air

What is something you are working on now?

Updated Curriculum for our EM Clerkship, VSAS, Conference Material, Intern Orientation planning, and more

How did you come up with this Idea/Project?

We are always trying to improve our curriculums to make them better based off of feedback from previous years!

What’s your office workspace setup like?

My kitchen counter or my office at the hospital.

What’s your best time-saving tip in the office or home?

Keep a To Do list and divide into “right now” and “ideas for later”.

What’s your best time-saving tip regarding email management?

Start with the longest sitting email and work your way up, but always respond quickly to urgent emails, even if it’s to recognize you saw it.xt

What apps do you use to keep yourself organized?

iPhone To Do lists, Notepad shared with my team, Google Docs/Sheets

How do you stay up to date with resources?

Twitter, podcasts, subscribed emails

What’s your best time-saving tip in the ED?

Epic’s Work space, Updating ED Course frequently, Epic messaging, multitasking constantly

ED charting: Macros or no macros?

Minimalist Macros unless I have a complex patient, then it’s story time with M-Modal

Advice

  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about work, life, or being efficient?

    Always make time for the things you love. Travel hard. What you do matters. Don’t engage difficult people. Don’t take yourself too seriously… you just have to laugh it off sometimes. Take care of patients passionately. Encourage others around you always. Work can and should be enjoyable, if it’s not… you’re doing something wrong.

  • What advice would you give other doctors who want to get started, or who are just starting out?

We have the best job in the world, but you must truly love what you do to sustain a long and happy career in medicine.

  • Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers?

Surrounding yourself with motivated, helpful and kind people who are passionate about what they do is the best thing you can do in this demanding job! I don’t know what I would do without my people.

Who would you love for us to track down to answer these same questions?

  • Dr. Anant Patel, DO  @anantpatels

Read other How I Work Smarter posts, sharing efficiency tips and life advice.

By |2021-07-28T04:41:51-07:00Jul 28, 2021|How I Work Smarter, Medical Education|

How I Work Smarter: Gus M. Garmel, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

gus garmel how i work smarter

One word that best describes how you work?

Compassionately

Current mobile device

iPhone

Computer

MacMini

What is something you are working on now?

Multiple projects, presently Microaggressions & Civility in the Workplace, Communication and Success in EM, and Coaching/Mentoring in EM.

How did you come up with this Idea/Project?

These are important topics; not a lot of information is available about these topics related specifically to EM despite the need.

What’s your office workspace setup like?

Standing wrap-around adjustable desk with good lighting, multiple computer monitors, and sufficient space to work so that I can keep needed materials close and accessible in my work area. I have few distractions in my workspace, which allows me to focus best on the work I am doing.

What’s your best time-saving tip in the office or home?

Limit distractions and work on one thing at a time, which reduces inefficiencies and errors that often occur with multitasking.

What’s your best time-saving tip regarding email management?

I have several tips, although I have found that turning off email notifications and checking email infrequently (or on YOUR schedule when time allows) are perhaps the best recommendations I can share (again, this relates to multitasking inefficiencies, limiting distractions, and error prevention).

What apps do you use to keep yourself organized?

Ical, Notes, and email all help me stay organized. I also use SUPER-STICKY Post-It notes. They come in a variety of colors if you purchase them in bulk, which some people use to help with organization through color-coding (I don’t use this strategy, but it is a good one).

How do you stay up to date with resources?

Staying current and updated (medical and non-medical) is challenging and takes time. I have a few key websites bookmarked, and still get some materials through the mail on paper. I schedule time for keeping up. Some aggregated links direct me to articles of interest, and I receive TOCs directly from society journals (EM and non-EM). I make a conscious effort to keep up, and spend very little (or no) time on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

What’s your best time-saving tip in the ED?

Always think DISPOSITION (every patient needs one). I teach that if you don’t have a good idea about a patient’s disposition, you should ask more targeted questions and do a better physical examination before leaving the room. I recommend planning for test results that can only be normal, abnormal, or indeterminate. Imagine what you would do for (and with) each patient if the test results are all negative (or normal). Have a plan for indeterminate results, for positive findings, or what to do if there is a worsening in the clinical course (including persisting pain, dizziness, vomiting, shortness of breath, etc.). I also think and teach to consider what information is necessary before it is appropriate to call a consultant that I or the patient needs anyway. Often consultants appreciate hearing about a patient “early” even before all the results return (especially if it is near the end of their day while they are still in the hospital).

ED charting: Macros or no macros?

Macros, but only after I see the patient and with attention to modifying the EMR as necessary. I am meticulous about adding detail and removing anything that is incorrect from the Macro. I never use Macros in my free-text HPI.

Advice

  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about work, life, or being efficient?

    FOCUS – that’s key. Make every minute (or moment) count. Whenever possible, try to “finish” one task before starting another, which keeps your “to do” list as short as possible and prevents errors and inefficiencies related to multitasking or task switching.

  • What advice would you give other doctors who want to get started, or who are just starting out?

My best and most frequent advice to all physicians (especially new physicians) is to work hard (and smart), be a team player at all times, show compassion and demonstrate empathy as often as possible (always is best), and strive to improve your communication and professionalism skills. Clinical knowledge is expected. Your efficiency will improve with experience and with practice. Be kind to as many people as you can as often as you can. These are important strategies for professional success, patient satisfaction, and personal wellness.

  • Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers?

Enjoy your career in EM, which will be challenging yet extremely rewarding. Strive to achieve Joy and Meaning in Medicine by working with purpose. Use people’s names frequently and correctly (patients, staff, consultants, colleagues), and express genuine interest in them as people and professionals. Learning something personal about your patients and colleagues (in and outside of EM) is a sign of respect. Expressing gratitude and saying “thank you” with sincerity are always beneficial.

Who would you love for us to track down to answer these same questions?

Anyone who has demonstrated consistent long-term success in EM, and is able to share his or her successes, failures, and strategies in a clear manner.

Read other How I Work Smarter posts, sharing efficiency tips and life advice.

How I Work Smarter: Christopher Lloyd, DO

One word that best describes how you work?

Opportunistically

Current mobile device

iPhone 12 Pro

Computer

iPhone Xr

What is something you are working on now?

Qualitative analysis on resident perceptions of feedback

How did you come up with this Idea/Project?

As a program we are continuing to look at how feedback is being delivered to residents, when it is happening, how it is received/implemented, etc. This project grew from a desire to explore the resident perspective on these topics so as to understand better where we are effective with our feedback techniques and practices and where we can find areas to improve.

What’s your office workspace setup like?

Currently I’m sitting on my back patio while my three kids are across the yard in their hammock cocoons. I’ve never been much of a desk person, and I always am more comfortable and productive when I vary my environment. Kitchen table, living room by the window, backyard, or, preferentially, a local coffee shop – although that’s less frequent recently #thanksCOVID. Really the only constant to my workspace is my computer and a cup of coffee. Occasionally just a notepad and the cup of coffee. Always the coffee though.

What’s your best time-saving tip in the office or home?

Don’t wait until your sitting down for intentional work to start a to do list! You’ll spend the first 30 minutes of what could be some productive time thinking about what you should be doing. Find a method that works for you to collect your tasks (I’ve used a bunch…topic for another day) and have a plan for when you start to work. I mentioned working opportunistically above. There is no set schedule in our house. Both my wife and I are emergency physicians. I usually look at the week ahead and pick out where my blocks of work are going to be and then look at my task manager and pick out what/where I want to accomplish anything. Its rare that I sit down with an hour or two to work and don’t already have a plan. Second part of that is matching task management with energy levels. Say its 9am after two straight 5pm – whenever shifts (you know the one….the shift that technically has an end time but you never leave at that time). I know that after two nights of crummy sleep that I shouldn’t be trying to do any deep focused work so I’ll plan on doing lighter tasks that are quick and require less concentration. Save the stuff that takes more time and focus for days that you know you’ll be working with a full cup:) I tend to label these with either squirrel or zombie (Some call this the ‘mind is mush’ mindset) tags on my task manager so I can get a quick filter of either one depending on how I’m feeling.

What’s your best time-saving tip regarding email management?

Check it twice a day at the most. This is hard, and I fail regularly, but email is the single biggest time sink we have and the more time you spend out of email the better. The argument I hear is ‘what if it’s something important from my chair/medical director/PD?!’ Here’s the thing…if you only check it twice a day you set that expectation for others. Thankfully those people in my life know that if something is mission critical/needs addressed now they’ll call/text. Set aside this time once or twice a day, reply to the stuff that only takes 2 min or less, and add the other stuff to your task manager. I’m an inbox zero person, but I know that’s not for everyone.

What apps do you use to keep yourself organized?

I use Todoist for task management. That’s really it.

How do you stay up to date with resources?

Feedly is a RSS feed that I use to capture articles. I try to keep up to date with EMRAP and EMA because I know the residents are in that space regularly and I want to be able to speak to the topics that is on the forefront of their minds.

What’s your best time-saving tip in the ED?

Unless someone requires a life saving intervention never get more than 2 charts behind. What will take me a minute or two to dictate now will take 2-3 times that after my shift or later on and it adds up fast. Also dragon dictation. If my dragon is broken you will find me curled up in the fetal position under the desk.

ED charting: Macros or no macros?

Macros for physical exam – but make sure its your typical physical exam so you don’t need to change it often. Other wise dragon dictation for everything else. Not a fan of macros for medical decision making documentation. Too many times its obvious that its a macro and as such starts to diminish the credibility of the note.

Advice

  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about work, life, or being efficient?

    Work life balance implies that you have to give up one side to balance the other. I preach and practice work life integration.

  • What advice would you give other doctors who want to get started, or who are just starting out?

Sit down with patients and listen to them. You’ll save more time here than at your desk charting. Find what’s important to you and intentionally make time for that. Wellness is different for everyone.

Read other How I Work Smarter posts, sharing efficiency tips and life advice.

How I Work Smarter: Miguel Reyes, MD

One word that best describes how you work?

Comfortable

Current mobile device

iPhone 12 Pro

Computer

Macbook Air

What is something you are working on now?

Wound Care article, REBEL EM CME content, Journal Reviews

How did you come up with this Idea/Project?

It was an opportunity that presented itself during the fellowship. It’s a collaborative effort with other faculty members to pull together this large review article, its a lot of work and effort but I think it’ll be worth it. As for the REBEL content, I’ve been working with Salim for a little bit and this chance came up so I decided I wanted to help upload the content to be made into CME.

What’s your office workspace setup like?

Well, it used to be the Kitchen Counter (NYC apartment doesn’t offer much space) but recently got a little desk and chair in our bedroom so I sometimes use that.

 

 

What’s your best time-saving tip in the office or home?

Close all distractions and put away your phone. When working on a project consider it your “deep work” time and focus your energy on that.

What’s your best time-saving tip regarding email management?

Check it only twice a day. Once in the morning and the other time in the afternoon.

What apps do you use to keep yourself organized?

Strides – My habit tracker for things I want to improve on, studying EM topics

Todoist – Great app for being able to break down large daunting projects into smaller manageable tasks while keeping it all organized. Since downloading this app I’ve become significantly more productive.

How do you stay up to date with resources?

Feedly – News aggregator website. I simply link all the FOAM sites I really like to it so when a new article comes out I’m interested in I can read it there.

What’s your best time-saving tip in the ED?

When you dispo the patient, finish the chart, and every time you stand up from your seat try to do at least 3 tasks before sitting back down.

ED charting: Macros or no macros?

Macros, otherwise I’d be charting for ages and there isn’t enough Great British Bake Off to numb that kind of pain

Advice

  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about work, life, or being efficient?

    Discipline equals freedom – Sounds trite but its transformed my outlook. The more disciplined I’ve become with social media and focused work time has allowed me to be more present with my family and loved ones for the time that really matters.

    Dr. Bove one of our staff at St. Joes gave us what I thought was great efficiency advice. If you wanna be good and have a good flow in the department every time you stand from your seat to do a task, do as many as possible before sitting back down.

  • What advice would you give other doctors who want to get started, or who are just starting out?

Don’t rush the outcome. The fun in this is not the destination but the journey in getting there so try to enjoy all the twists and turns along the way.

Who would you love for us to track down to answer these same questions?

  • Marco Propersi, DO

Read other How I Work Smarter posts, sharing efficiency tips and life advice.

By |2021-05-31T15:34:38-07:00Jun 2, 2021|How I Work Smarter, Medical Education|

How I Work Smarter: Laryssa Patti, MD

One word that best describes how you work?

Organized chaos (that’s 2 words)

Current mobile device

iPhone XS

Computer

2020 13″ Macbook Air + iPad with keyboard as a second monitort

What is something you are working on now?

Incorporating FOAM into our EM clerkship

How did you come up with this Idea/Project?

COVID decided for me — we’re working on a way to keep students engaged even though we’re still semi-distance learning. Additionally, I want to send my students into residency knowing that FOAM exists but needs to be assessed in the same way we think about peer reviewed literature.

What’s your office workspace setup like?

I have an office at our medical school that is a big flat surface in a square room with an internet connection. All of the art on the walls is of landscapes, no diplomas! It is off the beaten path (and also around the corner from the hospital Starbucks), which makes it a great place to get work done.

Since COVID, I’ve been doing the majority of my non-clinical work at home with essentially the same set up, but including a cat.

What’s your best time-saving tip in the office or home?

Everything goes into my Google calendar. If I need 30 minutes to read articles for our department journal club or food shopping, it goes in my calendar. It keeps me honest and on top of my to-do list. I try to protect a certain morning/afternoon a week (this year it’s Tuesday afternoon) for my own projects and writing and will defend that time from other obligations. I am still learning that I probably need 1.25-1.5x more time than I think to achieve any goal, though.

What’s your best time-saving tip regarding email management?

I am an inbox zero person. The 5 digit unread email number of one of my good friends gives me palpitations. My Gmail automatically sorts emails into buckets (e.g., advertisements, bills) so that my actual inbox is only emails that need immediate attention. If I can give a response immediately, I will. If I need more time to research an answer, I’ll reply as much, and stick it on my calendar to come back to. I’ve also really leaned into “snoozing” emails in both Gmail and Outlook. Things like the didactic conference schedule for this week or the agenda for a meeting later this week will get snoozed until 30 minutes before that time. Similarly, I schedule a lot of emails to be sent (like the medical student schedule that we send out weekly) so that I can put in a little bit of effort upfront and then trust Outlook to send that to faculty at a certain time.

What apps do you use to keep yourself organized?

Gmail, Tasks, and Google Calendar primarily. And also the notes app on my phone for random things that I don’t want to forget that come to me while driving or in the middle of the night.

How do you stay up to date with resources?

I subscribe to a few journal aggregators that send me weekly summaries of new articles and, of course, the EM:RAP and Twitter FOAM universe that sends me back to primary sources.

What’s your best time-saving tip in the ED?

Enter orders and write/dictate at least HPI/PMH after every patient. Every time I try to stack a bunch of patients (even low acuity ones) I end up getting interrupted and realize that I’m more behind than I thought.

ED charting: Macros or no macros?

Macros, with cautions. I have some standard physical exam and discharge instructions, but only use them for specific patients.

Advice

  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about work, life, or being efficient?

    Say no to things after your first year out. Once you know what you like, ask yourself: is the time/effort required to participate in [admissions committee/ interdepartmental project / extracurricular project] worth what you get out of it? If the answer is no, don’t do it. If the thing that you get out of it is rest/relaxation that is a valid reason.

  • What advice would you give other doctors who want to get started, or who are just starting out?

Say yes to things your first year out. This helps you meet people and learn about different niches that you can fill. But you can’t do this forever (see answer above).

  • Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers?

Accept that things will not go according to plan and forgive yourself. One of the best things that I did in the last month was blow off a long meeting in that I had nothing much to add besides being a member of the quorum in order to go on a walk and watch a movie with my husband. I came back to work re-energized and was much more productive the next day. Totally worth it.

In the same vein, I’m a new mom and still struggling to find a balance between being home and present, clinical work, and non-clinical work, and am continuing to remind myself that as much as my son is growing, I am growing too! (Some days work out better than others).

Who would you love for us to track down to answer these same questions?

  • Eric Blazar (@eblazar)
  • Sugeet Jagpal (@ysugeety)

Read other How I Work Smarter posts, sharing efficiency tips and life advice.

By |2021-05-17T06:44:59-07:00May 19, 2021|How I Work Smarter, Medical Education|

How I Work Smarter: Sara Dimeo, MD

One word that best describes how you work?

Collaboratively

Current mobile device

iPhone 11 Pro

Computer

MacBook Pro

What is something you are working on now?

The Impact of Digital Badges on Motivation in Asynchronous Learning

How did you come up with this Idea/Project?

When COVID hit, we had to think creatively on how to engage learners in an online format. Having done a fellowship in Multimedia, Design, Education Technology I was really excited to experiment with different techniques. My main goal is always to create a sense of engagement, even when there is limited ability to do so in a traditional way. One thing I’d seen done in a limited fashion are badges to reward learners, so I decided to explore digital badges and learned they’re becoming increasingly popular in the K-12 literature and other fields. I adopted this to create our own asynchronous curriculum with a badge system to identify learners who were engaging well in the material, and who were performing highly on knowledge-based quizzes.

What’s your office workspace setup like?

I finally have a dedicated office space in my home, which I love! I work best when I’m on my own away from distractions because I’m a typical EM personality. The window in my office looks out into our yard and the front street which is nice for a mental break. I like to keep my desktop clean (clean desk = clean brain) and just have my laptop and a notepad available to jot down quick thoughts or reminders.

What’s your best time-saving tip in the office or home?

Blocking off chunks of time to accomplish xyz task is helpful for me, as I often have multiple projects and/or tasks on any one given day. Prioritizing is important. I became pretty good at task-switching during my fellowship when I was juggling a lot of non-clinical projects.

What’s your best time-saving tip regarding email management?

I use a delete-flag-archive system, where anything not important in the future is immediately deleted, things that need close follow up are flagged, and everything else is filed into its relevant folder. I have 6-7 folders which I frequently use. One really helpful folder that you don’t always think about is for IDs/passwords!

What apps do you use to keep yourself organized?

I love the Things app for task management. It merges with my Google Calendar and allows you to set due dates for upcoming tasks as well as to documents to-do lists for bigger or more long-term projects. It is my peripheral brain! I also have a whiteboard in my office that displays my big projects. I like checking things off as a sense of accomplishment.

How do you stay up to date with resources?

Twitter is probably my main resource for connecting with colleagues about new ideas…I almost exclusively following folks in medical education. I use Journal Feed for quick synopses of review articles. And of course EMRAP.

What’s your best time-saving tip in the ED?

Try not to delay tough cognitive decision points that will affect the workup/algorithm that you go down. When you are not sure what to do, take a step back to think, call a consultant, or ask the advice of a colleague.

ED charting: Macros or no macros?

Yes! For example, I have an abscess I&D macro that contains less than 5 variables to fill out. Though, I dislike macros for more complicated encounters.

Advice

  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about work, life, or being efficient?

    [Great creative minds] think like artists but work like accountants. – Cal Newport, “Deep Work”.

    I personally love to think about new ideas or projects, but unfortunately that does not equate to success. Success is the ability to organize yourself to be productive. This is a work in progress for all of us!

  • What advice would you give other doctors who want to get started, or who are just starting out?

Get involved in a bigger way. Think about serving on a hospital committee or taking a leadership position. It will give you a new experience and accelerate your growth. For me, that was joining the EMRA Education committee, which ultimately led to me serving as the Director of Education for their Board of Directors. It was and has been a life changing experience.

  • Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers?

Find mentors that believe in you. I was told by an advisor that if I wanted to do med ed, I had to have my entire career path laid out and was highly discouraged from considering it. A two year fellowship and an (almost completed) masters later, I’m very glad I trusted my instinct and did not listen to their advice. Eventually I looked elsewhere and found mentors who were willing to help me achieve my goals.

Who would you love for us to track down to answer these same questions?

  • Kat Ogle @DrKittyKat
  • Kristy Schwartz @kaynani32
  • Zach Jarou @zachjarou
  • John Eicken @MedEd_Tech

Read other How I Work Smarter posts, sharing efficiency tips and life advice.

By |2021-04-20T09:12:55-07:00Apr 23, 2021|How I Work Smarter, Medical Education|

How I Work Smarter: Christopher Colbert, DO FACEP, FACOEP, FAAEM

One word that best describes how you work?

Practical

Current mobile device

iPhone 12

Computer

iMac Pro / Mac book Pro

What is something you are working on now?

Organizing/Planning the ACOEP’s annual Spring Seminar

How did you come up with this Idea/Project?

I have been part of the planning committee for the spring conference for 5 years.

What’s your office workspace setup like?

A well-lit room with decent speakers (huge music fan), 2 Macs side-by-side, and most importantly, a very comfy chair.

christopher colbert work smarter office 1

christopher colbert work smarter office 2

What’s your best time-saving tip in the office or home?

Keep your work in your office so that the remainder of your home is a comfortable place “away” from work. This concept will ensure that you maintain focus when completing your office work and support a healthy home that is not overrun by work responsibility outside of the office.

What’s your best time-saving tip regarding email management?

Anything by email that can be completed in 2 minutes or under, make time to complete if the moment is available. It is easy to allow the inbox to overflow throughout the course of a day. Periodically checking one’s email with purpose will ensure that the burden of finishing emails for the course of the day is no more than five minutes.

What apps do you use to keep yourself organized?

Google calendar is what I live by :)

How do you stay up to date with resources? 

FOAMed and journal watch

What’s your best time-saving tip in the ED?

Every time you sit down, document on two charts. As ED physicians we live and breathe based on documented reevaluations.  my recommendation to keep up with a busy room is to document on at least 2 charts each time.

ED charting: Macros or no macros?

Macros expedite charting and make each chart more robust

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about work, life, or being efficient? 

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.

– Stephen Covey

What advice would you give other doctors who want to get started, or who are just starting out?

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

– Stephen Covey …………… it’s just a really good quote!

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers?

Most people feel as if change is something that “happens to them”, it is not. One of the most constant themes in life is change. When you notice change starting to take place it is a sign that you need to grow.

Who would you love for us to track down to answer these same questions? 

  • Dr. Marina Del Rios @DraCoquiMD
  • Dr. Andy Little @andyglittle
Go to Top