Saturday, March 30, is National Doctor’s Day, a holiday that honors physicians for the work they do for their patients, the communities they serve, and society as a whole.
Here are four fun facts we thought would be of interest to doctors, their patients, and all our readers.
1. The Date was Chosen because of Anesthetic Anniversary
National Doctor’s Day can be traced back to March 30, 1933, where it was first celebrated in Winder, Georgia, a small town east of Atlanta.
The observance began with Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, a prominent Georgia physician, who wanted to create a day to recognize and honor doctors.
Almond decided the best way to do that was to mail greeting cards to all the physicians she knew of and to place flowers — red carnations — on the graves of those who were deceased. The flower, still in use today, was chosen because the red color represents love, charity, sacrifice, bravery, and courage, all of which are synonymous with the medical profession.
Why did Almond choose March 30 as the date?
It was on that date in 1842 when Dr. Crawford W. Long used an ether anesthetic for the first time during surgery.
Although Doctor’s Day would remain an unofficial holiday for the next 58 years, it became a national holiday when Congress passed S.J. RES. #366, which President Bush signed on October 30, 1990 (creating Public Law 101-473), designating Doctor’s Day as a national holiday to be celebrated on March 30, 1991.
2. National Doctor’s Day is Celebrated Across the Globe
The holiday isn't celebrated just in the U.S. but also around the globe.
In Brazil, National Doctor’s Day is celebrated on October 18, the day on which the Catholic Church observes the birthday of Saint Luke, who, according to church tradition, was a doctor.
Canada celebrates National Doctor’s Day on May 1, and Cuba, on December 3, to commemorate the birthday of Carlos Juan Finlay, a Cuban physician and scientist recognized as a pioneer in yellow fever research.
Other countries that celebrate National Doctor’s Day include India, Iran, Vietnam, and Nepal.
3. Cards are Still Used to Honor the Holiday
There is an actual National Doctor’s Day organization, which, each year, creates a unique commemorative greeting card. This year’s card reads, "Thank You for your dedication to the care of others. Happy Doctors’ Day."
4. It’s Proven that Doctors Work More than the Average American
Another reason we celebrate doctors on this day is their resiliency. Think about it; they work, on average, nearly 60 hours a week and, more impressive, one and a half times more years than the average American.
Their job isn’t easy either. They work under pressure, often make critical, even life-and-death decisions, and do so while showing concern for and attentiveness toward every patient they see.
That’s why, in celebration of National Doctor’s Day, Schumacher Clinical Partners wants to express its gratitude and appreciation to all their physicians for their hard work and commitment to providing quality care to patients every day.
Take Action: You, too, can personally thank your doctor for everything he or she does throughout the year. Send a card or flowers, in keeping with the tradition. Post a message on Facebook or Twitter thanking doctors for the work they do, and tag your doctor if appropriate. (Use the hashtag #NationalDoctorsDay in your posts.) You can also celebrate this day by placing carnations on the grave of a deceased doctor.
Those aren’t the only ways to celebrate. Another is to schedule that much-needed check-up, and yet another is to commit to living a healthy lifestyle. (You may need to see the doctor less in that case, but we’re sure he won’t mind.)
In whatever way you can think of, be sure and express your appreciation to your doctor for the care he or she provides.
Read more about physician retention and satisfaction.