Iowa Specialty Hospital

Making the Rounds with Dr. Hurt

January 1, 2015

Take this job and love it!

One of my attending physicians once told me, “Life is to love and to work.”

Work. The satisfaction, fun, and fulfillment you experience are benefits you can give yourself.

In a recent national survey of 180,000 American workers, 80% indicated a dislike for their jobs. That is a sad reflection on something that consumes a major portion of their lives. To make matters worse, few people who dislike their vocation will ever be a success at it!  Maybe it’s time to renovate our thoughts about work. We can choose one of two approaches. The first would be to mirror Thomas Edison who said, “I never did a day’s work in my life, it was all fun.” He believed the PURPOSE of work was joy and fulfillment.  The second choice can be compared to King Sisyphus in Greek mythology. Because of his evil lifestyle, he was condemned to Hades forever. His daily duty was pushing a large rock up a mountain. At the end of each day the rock rolled down again. Each day was a repeat of the last.

Many of today’s workers view their daily responsibilities like the uninspired and fruitless experience of King Sisyphus. There are about 40,000 ways to earn a living in the United States. Whatever our chosen career, it is IMPERATIVE we stop looking at work as simply a means of making a living and realize it is an essential ingredient in making a quality life.

So how do we get there?  Will Rogers said, “In order to succeed you must know what you are doing, like what you doing, and believe in what you are doing.”

Know what you are doing. Winners in life are willing to do things losers refuse to do. This principle is engrained in the employees who know what they are doing.  In our organization, we are blessed to have great support and structure to help us get there. If you have the desire to know what you are doing, utilize the resources available to you. High performers prepare, study, train, apply themselves, and work to become the best at what they do. They take stuff off of their boss’ plate and not put things on it. Choose one part of your job. Apply your talents. Become the expert. Excel.

Like what you are doing. The secret to happiness, success, satisfaction, and fulfillment in our work is not doing what one likes but liking what one does. It’s our own choice to do so. The attitude you bring to the workplace greatly affects whether you like your job as well as whether others do. In health care, especially with the culture we enjoy here at Iowa Specialty Hospital, we have the opportunity to do TRANSCENDENT work. Stuff that really matters! We encounter people at some of the most vulnerable times in their lives. We have the opportunity to decrease their anxiety and show them compassion. Our culture is our climate and we have a nice warm one. Rainy & cold days will come. We need to endure those. When all else fails, listen to the advice of the seven dwarfs, “Whistle while you work.”

Believe in what you do. Successful people are not in a job for something to do… they are in their work to do something. This is “easy smeasy” in our line of work.  Based on how we were created, it is engrained in us humans to be helpful to our fellow man. In our organization we get paid to do so! Get beyond the job description, title, paycheck, or “to do” list. See the end result. Become absorbed in our mission, vision, and values.

Many people with a B.S, M.B.A, P.H.D or M.D. haven’t learned yet what it means to believe in their J.O.B. Now they wonder what they went to school for. Education won’t do it. Experience won’t do it. A raise won’t do it and neither will a promotion. The self-esteem, satisfaction, and fulfillment you experience at work depend on you. As we enter 2015, I challenge myself and anyone reading this to:

  • Do a little more than you are paid to;

  • Give a little more than you have to;

  • Try a little harder than you want to;

  • Aim a little higher than you think possible;

  • And give a lot of thanks to God for health, family, and friends.

Transform your “have-to’s” into “want to’s.” Our patient satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and overall quality of life will skyrocket.

Happy New Year!


Now That's Fast

Three boys were comparing notes about their fathers’ abilities. With an air of arrogance and pride, the first boy said, ”My dad is so fast he can shoot an arrow at a target and catch the arrow before it reaches the target.”  “That’s pretty good,“ the second boy responded, “but my dad is so fast he can shoot at a deer and tackle the deer before the bullet gets there.” Listening quietly, the third lad could restrain himself no longer. “My dad is faster than both of yours. He can get off work at 4:30 and be home by 4:15!”


-Dr. Michael Hurt, CMO


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