Eve Purdy (@Purdy_Eve) is one of those rising stars in medical education, who “leads from the middle” in her role as a senior medical student at Queen’s University. She is already quite involved as a blogger at Manu et Corde, a Medical Student Editor at Boring EM, and as a part of the ALiEM Book Club team. I, along with many others, are eager to see what Eve has in store for the world of medical education in her early promising superstar career. Eve was tagged by Dr. Teresa Chan in a previous How I Work Smarter post and was kind enough to share her tips for, as Eve states, “TRYING to work smarter”.



  • Name: Eve Purdy
  • Location: Kingston, Ontario
  • Current job: 4th Year Medical Student, Queen’s University
  • One word that best describes how you work: Smiling
  • Current mobile device: iPhone 4
  • Current computer: MacBook Pro (2010)

What’s your office workspace setup like?

As a student I have 2 jobs:

  1. Satisfying curricular requirements and learning medicine
  2. Working on side projects that fill up my autonomy gas tank

My workspace needs to help me do both. I always carry my office with me in this bag:

Purdy Office


It carries everything I need to make this workspace:


Purdy Work Space


I’ve always got my iPad and iPhone (for quick FOAM bites and mastery learning through questions when I have the chance) and my notebook in case I have the opportunity to work on one of my side projects. I always have powercords for the devices and headphones to stream good beats. My dream is to have a stand up workspace at home!!!

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

In addition to scheduling in study time- literally blocking it off in the calendar, I also always try to make things count twice (or more). This means a couple of things:

  • If I need to do something for curricular requirements, I will try to integrate it into a side project (i.e. write a blog post) on the same topic.
  • I also try to study with friends so that learning is a social experience. We learn together and have many, many laughs.

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

I am bad at this. I’ve adopted the inbox zero approach after Michelle Lin’s description of her email management. It seems to be working but I have a long way to go. Amalgamate your inboxes.

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

I am definitely not in the business of saving time, yet. But for learners I would recommend knowing how to find information efficiently. I have one favourite app (Palm EM) and I know where and how to search it well. It is mostly a one-stop shop (except for med dosing). My other tip would be for procedures, while you are in the storage room work through your procedure in your head then grab ALL the necessary equipment so that you are not back and forth a bunch of times. Keep a list (I use paper) of tasks you need to complete or check up on. Don’t lose the list.

ED charting: Macros or no macros?

I don’t use macros. As a learner, I find that writing the note is an important part of processing the presentation and problem at hand. My note can provide a window into my brain and clinical reasoning for supervisors I work with too!

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

Life: Growing up my mom put a quote on our fridge. I looked at the phrase “Happiness is a Choice” every day for 18 years and now I know it to be true. In every interaction, every job, every task and every relationship I can choose to be happy; life is wonderful for it.

Work/School: I learned how to read efficiently to improve retrieval for diagnostic reasoning in the Clinical Problem Solving MOOC run through UCSF/Coursera. The course is live again in January, I would highly encourage medical students to invest the time in this course.

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

  1. Grace Leo
  2. Heather Murray
  3. Chris Bond
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 https://t.co/50EapJORCa Bio: https://t.co/7v7cgJqNEn
Michelle Lin, MD