In the first post for the “How I Work Smarter” series, I called out one my favorite, accomplished clinician-educators Dr. Victoria Brazil, because she makes extreme-productivity look easy. Victoria was kind enough to provide her trade secrets, and it is with great pleasure that I share her responses to the questions in this series.

  • Name: Victoria Brazil
  • victoria brazil photo 2012Location: Gold Coast, Australia
  • Current job: Emergency Physician, Gold Coast Emergency Department Associate Professor and Lead for clinical skills and simulation, Bond University (aka ‘Bond girl’)
  • One word that best describes how you work: Enthusiastically (mostly)
  • Current mobile device: iPhone 5 (… there are other devices?)
  • Current computer: ASUS Ultrabook 13’ (that’s right… not a Mac)

What’s your office workspace setup like?

It’s definitely ‘the cloud.’ I have 5 ‘offices’ – two different EDs, 2 different university sites, and home. My satchel carries a laptop or ipad, phone, portable laptop speaker, earphones, remote clicker, iPhone microphone adaptor, and adapters for lightning to everything AV, and occasionally lipstick.

Vic's office

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

Inefficiency is not necessarily poor productivity…. I spend a lot of ‘office time’ just chatting with people But I do use Dropbox, Any.Do, and Mozy back up to manage projects/ activities/ documents.

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

  • Delete most.
  • Ferociously ‘unsubscribe’.
  • I use tags in Gmail. An email has to earn getting into my ‘AAA to do’ to be given attention.

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

Try and build relationships with everyone, so you can delegate effectively and safely to junior staff, nurses, orderlies and even patients.

ED charting: Macros or no macros?

No macros. Write less. Disclaimer: our billing is not tied to our documentation in Australia.

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

  1. Armani is always worth it (from my mother).
  2. Self discipline is far better than self esteem (also from my mother, I think)
  3. Very successful people are absurdly selective (from a random self-help blog)

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

  1. I choose projects, jobs, and talks all based on who is involved – mates should always take precedence over prestige.
  2. Running is my creative time.

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

  1. Hillary Clinton
  2. Chris Nickson
  3. Natalie May
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