At a Glance
- National Doctors Day on March 30 honors physicians for their contributions.
- Many doctors celebrate symbolically on National Doctors Day, but surveys show high dissatisfaction due to long hours, reimbursements, and competition from healthcare systems.
- An infographic highlights 40 interesting facts about doctors, including statistics on demographics, salaries, hours worked, burnout, and more.
For many people, March 30 is just another day on the calendar. But medical doctors know that March 30 is National Doctors Day. Read on to learn about this holiday, and keep scrolling for an infographic containing more than 40 fascinating facts about medical doctors.
What is National Doctors Day?
National Doctors Day is a day to celebrate and recognize medical doctors and their contributions to society. Congress designated the holiday on March 30, 1991, with the passing of Public Law 101- 473, and George Bush issued a proclamation in observance of the day on February 21, 1991. In 2024, National Doctors Day will be celebrated on Saturday, March 30.
“National Doctors Day is a day to celebrate and recognize medical doctors and their contributions to society. ”
History of National Doctors Day
On this date in 1842, Dr. Crawford Williamson Long performed the first surgery with anesthesia, painlessly removing a tumor from a patient by first administering ether. Though there is some controversy about which doctor discovered anesthesia, Dr. Long is widely accepted today as the pioneer of surgical anesthesia through inhalation of ether.
Nearly 30 years later, in 1933, Eudora Brown Almond, a Georgia woman married to a physician, decided that medical doctors deserved a designated day to acknowledge their unique contributions to society. She selected March 30 in homage to Dr. Long.
Per “How March 30th Came to be Doctors’ Day,” by Rod K. Calverley: “From the time of her early childhood in rural Ft. Lamar, GA, Eudora Brown had admired the gentle kindness of her family doctor. In 1920, Eudora married Dr. Charles B. Almond and, believing that healing the sick was man’s greatest profession, became convinced that medical practitioners deserved a day of recognition. She selected March 30 to honor the man she considered Georgia’s most famous son.”
Do doctors celebrate National Doctors Day?
You may see medical doctors sporting red carnations, the symbolic flower of National Doctors Day, on March 30. Other medical providers might also mark the day by distributing commemorative cards, as Eudora Brown Almond did in 1933, or small Doctors Day gifts such as lapel pins.
“You may see medical doctors sporting red carnations on March 30. ”
On her blog ParagonFire, Kelly Cawcutt, MD, MS, wrote, “I am not sure that we celebrate it in the way Hallmark would suggest,” Cawcutt wrote. “I think we celebrate it not for ourselves, but in deep, sometimes wordless, appreciation of our colleagues. In recognition of the commitment and care of our colleagues.” She continued, “And at the end of the day, we do not toast ourselves. We toast our colleagues and silently strive to improve. To be worthy of the thank you, the note of appreciation, the calling.”
What is it like to be a doctor today?
The Intake’s recent Independent Healthcare Practice Ownership report revealed much about the state of private practice today. With data from 112 physicians, we learned that while most physicians are optimistic about their own practice, they have serious concerns about the industry as a whole.
“The healthcare industry is plagued by dissatisfaction — both from providers and patients,” says Lauren Wheeler, a former family medicine physician currently working as a healthcare advocate and medical editor. Wheeler said that long working hours, physician reimbursements, and competition from private equity-backed healthcare systems coalesce to create growing discontentment.
But this is just a glimpse of the full picture. See the Doctors Day 2024 infographic below for 40 interesting facts about doctors today.
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