I think it’s safe to say that Americans value doctors more than ever right now. With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the world, we’ve come to rely on their expertise and guidance, and appreciate their selflessness and hard work. With our newfound appreciation for the medical field, it’s only fitting that National Doctors’ Day would arrive this month.
The purpose of this day is to recognize and celebrate the service of physicians to the nation. The idea first came from Eudora Brown Almond, the wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond and was first celebrated on March 30, 1933, in a small town called Winder, GA.
This date marks the anniversary of the first-time general anesthesia was used in surgery. This occurred in 1842 when Dr. Crawford Williamson Long removed a cyst on the neck of his patient. In Dr. Long’s time, it was common for members of high society to inhale nitrous oxide (aka laughing gas) at parties. These parties – referred to as frolics — often became rowdy with people sometimes sustaining minor injuries. Dr. Long noticed that while people were under the influence of nitrous oxide, they were oblivious to pain. This led to his theory that the gas could be used as an anesthetic during surgery.
It took another 57 years before National Doctors’ Day was officially approved in 1990 by Congress and signed into legislation by President George H. W. Bush. National Doctors’ Day is most widely observed nowadays by health care organizations. Historically greeting cards and/or red carnations are sent to doctors and their spouses.
National Doctors’ Day is celebrated in a number of other countries around the world, often on different dates than the US celebration. The date for each respective country is typically related to a significant person or medical discovery.
- Australia – March 30
- Kuwait – March 3
- Canada – May 1
- India – July 1
- Brazil – October 18
- Iran – August 23
Let’s take March 30, 2020 as opportunity to honor all doctors around the world and the wonderful jobs they do in service to their patients. Let’s remember and appreciate them for all that they do for us – pandemic or not.
Written by Jon Kuykendall-Barrett, Account Executive