National Doctors’ Day in the United States was established to recognize physicians, their work, and their contributions to society and the community. National Doctors’ Day falls on March 30 each year. The first Doctors’ Day observance was held on March 30, 1933, by the Barrow County Alliance, in Winder, Georgia. This first observance included the mailing greeting cards and placing flowers on graves of deceased doctors.
The idea came from Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, and the date chosen was the anniversary of the first use of general anesthesia in surgery on March 30, 1842, in Jefferson, Ga., Dr. Crawford Long used ether to anesthetize a patient, John Venable, and painlessly excised a tumor from his neck.
On March 30, 1958, a Resolution Commemorating Doctors’ Day was adopted by the United States House of Representatives. The Alliance immediately adopted the following resolution: "WHEREAS the Alliance to the Barrow County Medical Society wishes to pay lasting tribute to the Doctors, therefore, be it RESOLVED by the Alliance to the Barrow County Medical that March 30, the day that famous Georgian Dr. Crawford W. Long first used ether anesthesia in surgery, be adopted as "Doctors’ Day," the object to be the well-being and honor of the profession, its observance demanding some act of kindness, gift or tribute in remembrance of the Doctors."
In 1990, legislation was introduced in the House and Senate to establish a national Doctor’s Day. Following overwhelming approval by the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, on October 30, 1990, President George Bush signed S.J. RES. #366 (which became Public Law 101-473) designating March 30th as "National Doctor’s Day."
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That;
1. March 30, 1991, is designated as "National Doctors’ Day"; and
2. the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe the day with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.
This was the culmination of the efforts of Auxilians across the country, led by Southern Medical Association Alliance (SMAA) Presidents, Mrs. A. J. Campbell and Mrs. Jim Barnett. The enactment of this law enables the citizens of the United States to publicly show appreciation for the role of physicians in caring for the sick, advancing medical knowledge, and promoting good health.
This holiday is commonly celebrated in healthcare organizations to recognize the contributions of physicians to individual lives and communities. These events are typically organized by staff at a healthcare organization. Staff may organize a lunch for doctors to present the physicians with tokens of recognition. Historically, a card or red carnation may be sent to physicians and their spouses, along with a flower being placed on the graves of deceased physicians.
Source: smaalliance.org | sma.org