National Doctors’ Day in the United States is a holiday which is celebrated on March 30th each year. It is a holiday that honors physicians for the work they do for their patients, the communities they work in, and for society as a whole. It is their hard work and devotion that keeps all of us healthy and this day thanks them for doing that for us and our loved ones.
History of National Doctors’ Day:
This holiday can be traced back to March 30, 1933 when Doctors’ Day was first observed in Winder, Georgia. Started by Eudora Brown Almond, the wife of a prominent Georgian doctor, the day was meant to recognize and honor doctors for their service. She decided the best way to do that was to mail greeting cards to all the doctors she knew and to place flowers on the graves of deceased doctors. She used red carnations- a flower still used to this day for National Doctors’ Day celebrations.
Why did Eudora Brown Almond choose March 30th as the date for Doctors’ Day? Because that is the day in 1842 that Dr. Crawford W. Long used an ether anesthetic for the first time. Doctors’ Day would remain an unofficial holiday for the next 58 years.
It would not become an actual National holiday until Congress passed Proclamation 6253 in 1991.
Per Jean Hill, AMA Alliance President 1989-90, the photo to the right is a significant piece of history: “It was a donation to the Living Bank to honor Physicians on the 50th Anniversary of Doctors’ Day.”
In 1990, President George Bush proclaimed March 30 as “National Doctors’ Day.”
“We are standing in front of the statue of Doctor Crawford W. Long of Georgia, who first used ether anesthesia on March 30, 1842.”