In this new installment in the “How I Work Smarter” series, we are bringing it back home. We first started in the United States, then Australia, then the UK. Today we return back to the U.S. and feature Dr. Salim Rezaie (@Srrezaie), who is the Editor-in-Chief for REBEL-EM and REBEL Cast. The following summarizes Salim’s great tips.

  • Name: Salim R. Rezaie, MD
  • Salim RezaieLocation: San Antonio, TX
  • Current Job: I am currently a faculty physician at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) where I divide my time between the specialties of Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine (25% and 75% respectively)
  • One Word That Best Describes How you Work: Sedulous
  • Current Mobile Device: iPhone 5S
  • Current Computer: Macbook Pro 13 inch

What’s your office workspace setup like?

I actually have an office in the hospital and a workstation at home. I get most of my productive stuff done at my workstation at home.

Home Work Station

What’s your best timesaving tip in the office or home?

Setting up one calendar with color coating and reminders.  Since I have a Mac, I use iCal and have synced all my emails and other calendars onto one. I have my calendar divided into administrative work, clinical work, vacation, birthday reminders, and personal life. When all are overlaid on each other my calendar is crazy, but I can remove different folders to help compartmentalize my life more efficiently.  I frequently set reminders for myself to remind me of different events.

Calendar Screen Shot

What’s your best timesaving tip regarding email management?

In-Box Zero. Essentially I have two solutions for this. The first is I have created sub-folders for important emails I need to store with important information that I can reference back to. The second is, I answer urgent emails rather quickly throughout the week, delete spam immediately, but I set two days a week, where I will answer the rest of my emails and get my email inbox down to zero. This has saved me a ridiculous amount of time.

What’s your best timesaving tip in the ED?

Documenting as I am interviewing the patient or talking with a resident/medical student. I find that charting at the time of interview or resident/student presentation allows for better documentation, and lets me focus more on medical decision-making. Also allows me to leave shifts on time, instead of documenting hours after my shift.

ED Charting: Macros or no macros?

Both. I do not believe in using macros to chart physical exam or review of systems, but think they are helpful in medical decision making.

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

For everything that you say yes to, you have just said no to something else. Keep this in mind as you accept new projects and tasks, as the new project may take away from family life and hobbies.

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

  1. Be the master of your time. The only way to be efficient is to make the most out of your allotted 24 hours a day. There is a direct connection between how you spend your time and your well-being.
  2. Read a lot. Read books that will make a difference to you and your life.  Currently I am reading “How Doctors Think” by Jerome Groopman.
  3. Have big dreams: “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” – Michelangelo

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

  • Simon Carley
  • Anand Swaminathan
  • Mike Cadogan
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