How I Work Smarter: Simiao Li-Sauerwine, MD

Feb 11, 22
How I Work Smarter: Simiao Li-Sauerwine, MD

One word that best describes how you work?


Current mobile device

iPhone 12


MacBook Air

What is something you are working on now?

I’m working on a research study examining the impact of EM faculty demographics on learner evaluations.

How did you come up with this Idea/Project?

I’ve always been interested in the impact of implicit bias on physician professional development and advancement. We use learner evaluations of attendings for promotion, for compensation, for recognition with departmental awards. So, I was interested to know how the demographics of a faculty member might impact a resident’s expectations of how they teach at the bedside and on shift. Do they impact those metrics that affect advancement?

What’s your office workspace setup like?

My office in the Department of EM at OSU is right across from our Program Managers – very convenient for quick questions and discussions! I have a PC but often also bring my laptop for a centralized work machine. I have a French press with coffee and tea and mugs so that folks can get a caffeine fix when they stop by. I also make sure to have snacks available for quick nutrition between meetings.

My home setup is my MacBook Air on a laptop stand. About a year into the pandemic as I was continuing to work from home, I purchased the stand and it’s been a game-changer! Less neck strain and better angles for Zoom :). I usually work on the couch in our home office or wherever I can find a quiet space for deep work.

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

I have no magical time-saving tips but I keep an aggressively up-to-date to-do list which I re-prioritize every day. If it’s not on paper (or on my Notes app), it tends to fall off my radar. So everything gets written down.

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

Triage your email. I either glance at it, respond if necessary, and move on, or flag the email if it requires more thought or an in-depth response. Then, when I have blocks of time to sit down, the flagged emails become their own TO DO list. I try to keep this down to less than one page.

What apps do you use to keep yourself organized?

The Reminders app is nice because I can sync it across all my Apple devices. I use this primarily for groceries and personal TO-DOs. I use Notes for work-related tasks; each line is a deadline for a task (either real or self-imposed) with a title and descriptor.

How do you stay up to date with resources?

I go to our resident conference every single week – it’s a privilege to continue to learn. Free knowledge! Who doesn’t love that?

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

Save your teaching until after you’ve seen a patient, so you can focus on discussing the most relevant and high yield educational pearls.

ED charting: Macros or no macros?

No macros! It takes time to click through. I use dot phrases and change the text – it goes much quicker.


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

    Choose your projects based on 1. Are you passionate about the topic? 2. Are you really excited to work with the people involved? and 3. Will it build your dossier for promotion? Hitting one is great, two is better, and ideally all three! Wise words from Jorge Fernandez that have guided my junior faculty years.

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

    • Find your passion, and academic products will follow.
    • You are entitled to mentorship from anyone and everyone – don’t be afraid to ask for it.
    • Your personal brand is important – are you solutions-oriented, do you get things done, are you timely.
    • Work time is work time, and make it count – but protect your non-shift weekends and evenings for family and the stuff that matters.
  • Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers?

    I am an avid foodie who loves to read up on local and regional specialties – so if you find me at a conference, ask me where to eat!

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

Author information

Simiao Li-Sauerwine, MD, MS

Simiao Li-Sauerwine, MD, MS

Chief Academic Officer,
ALiEM Wellness Think Tank 2019-20
Assistant Program Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
The Ohio State University

The post How I Work Smarter: Simiao Li-Sauerwine, MD appeared first on ALiEM.

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