In the world of medical education and Twitter, Dr. Oliver Flower (@OliFlower) is a virtual celebrity. Oli has been a central figure in FOAM and serves the daunting role of being a co-organiser for the upcoming buzz-worthy SMACC conference in Chicago (June 23-26, 2015) alongside Roger Harris and Chris Nickson. He is incredibly efficient and effective, juggling multiple deadlines and responsibilities. It was no surprise to us when Oli was tagged by Dr. Rob Mac Sweeney from a previous How I Work Smarter post as someone whom we could learn a lot from. Oli was kind enough to send along his responses.

  • Oliver FlowerName: Oli Flower
  • Location:Royal North Shore Hospital; Sydney Australia
  • Current job: Intensive Care Specialist
  • One word that best describes how you work: Passionately
  • Current mobile device: iPhone 6
  • Current computer: MacBook Pro, Retina, 15-inch, late 2013

What’s your office workspace setup like?

Calm, music playing at times, lots of plants, family pics, graphic design books, posters and inspirational stuff around. Lots of screens so can access many sources simultaneously.

Oli Flower workspace

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

Use email inbox as jobs list. Delete any unnecessary email asap.

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

Answer easy stuff immediately. Low threshold to delete email. Use inbox as jobs list. Unsubscribe to lists you no longer look at content from regularly.

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

Not in the ED now, but in the ICU try to be as efficient as possible on the ward round, keep your trainees full of coffee, and be good to them as this will come back to reward you!

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

Try to enjoy it all, as it goes bloody fast. Keep work separate from home life as much as possible! Keep outside work interests alive so you’re not only defined by your job. Scott’s recent podcast was pretty good too!

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

Love this advice from my Dad, which I do try to adhere to:

  1. Be an individual.
  2. Stand up for your convictions, and have a  belief.
  3. Always have a plan.
  4. Be loyal, to your beliefs, your family, your friends, and the people you work with.
  5. Be part of your community. I see this as an online community as well as a physical one.
  6. Work hard, play hard – always do your best, but don’t be a perfectionist, accept 80% some times.
  7. Be happy and know where your happiness come from.
  8. Look people in the eye and have dignity.

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

  1. Roger Harris
  2. Chris Bowles
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