Celebrating National Doctors’ Day

Brooke Phillips, CWCMS
Editor | Shield HealthCare
03/24/23  4:59 PM PST
National Doctors Day

Every year on March 30th, we honor physicians for the work they do for their patients and their communities. The hard work and devotion of our physicians save lives and help keep us healthy.

History of National Doctors’ Day

The first known Doctors’ Day was observed in Winder, Georgia on March 30, 1933. Eudora Brown Almond, the wife of a prominent Georgian doctor, mailed greeting cards to all the doctors she knew and placed red carnations on the graves of deceased doctors. She chose this date for a specific reason: on March 30, 1842, in Jefferson, Georgia, Dr. Crawford W. Long used an ether anesthetic for the very first time to anesthetize a patient (James Venable) and painlessly excise a tumor from his neck.

Her efforts were meant to recognize and honor doctors for their service. Doctors’ Day remained an unofficial holiday for the next 58 years, and red carnations are still used to this day for National Doctors’ Day celebrations.

From American Medical Asssociation Alliance: amaalliance.org/national-doctors-day

In 1990, President George Bush proclaimed March 30 as “National Doctors’ Day.” In this photo to the right, Jean Hill, the President of the American Medical Association Alliance from 1989-90, is seen accepting a donation to the Living Bank to honor Physicians.

“It was… the 50th Anniversary of Doctors’ Day,” said Jean Hill. “We are standing in front of the statue of Doctor Crawford W. Long of Georgia, who first used ether anesthesia on March 30, 1842.”

Doctor’s Day became a National holiday in 1991, when Congress passed Proclamation 6253.

Acknowledging Physician Burnout

Even in eras without pandemics, doctors have a difficult job. As the delivery of health care becomes more complex, physicians are charged with ever-increasing amount of administrative and cognitive tasks. Extraordinarily long hours, intense workloads, short and tightly choreographed patient visits, complicated patients, and increasing administrative workload all contribute to mental and emotional exhausion among physicians.

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated many of the drivers of physician burnout. By the end of 2021, after 21-months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the physician burnout rate dramatically spiked to 62.8% among U.S. physicians, compared with 38.2% just the year before. Recent research has shown that due to COVID-related stress, 1 in 5 physicians intend to leave their current practice within 2 years.

Thank A Phsyician

Although we can’t lighten their workload, we can express our appreciation for everything doctors do for us, for our patients, and for our loved ones. We depend on our doctors to heal us, comfort us, and make us feel better. On behalf of Shield HealthCare, we thank all doctors for the lifesaving work you do!

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