National Doctors Day

March 2016

From Dr. Frank Proscia, President and Dr. Matthews Hurley, 1st Vice President, Doctors Council SEIU

As doctors ourselves, we realize the commitment and sacrifices each of you has made to be a doctor. It took years of school, residency, study and training to be where you are today. The commitment to patient care and the communities you serve that you bring every day and every shift is to be commended.

There is a very special relationship between a doctor and a patient. Too often, others attempt to make decisions for us without the input of doctors and see doctors as a small part of the delivery of patient care. A hospital or clinic is more than just bricks and mortar; it is the doctors who treat patients and make the facility work. Our voices need to be heard today more than ever.

That is why we want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for being a doctor and a member of our union and profession.  You may not be aware, but there is a National Doctors Day celebrated on March 30thevery year.  We believe that every day should be a day to recognize doctors.  

The history of National Doctors Day is an interesting one. The first Doctors Day was observed on March 30, 1933 in Winder, Georgia.  The wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond (Eudora Brown Almond) decided to set aside a day to honor doctors.  This included mailing greeting cards and placing flowers on graves of deceased doctors. National Doctors Day began in 1933 as a local commemoration in Barrow County, Georgia, to celebrate the date on which Dr. Crawford W. Long managed the primary ether sedative for surgery on March 30, 1842. The date for National Doctors Day is the anniversary of the first use of general anesthetic in surgery, as on March 30, 1842 Dr. Long used ether to remove a tumor from a patient’s neck. The red carnation is commonly used as the symbolic flower for National Doctors Day, for the reason that it signifies the qualities of sacrifice, charity, courage, bravery and love.

On March 30, 1958, a Resolution Commemorating Doctors Day was adopted by the United States House of Representatives.  In 1990, legislation was introduced in the House and Senate to establish a national Doctors Day.  Following overwhelming approval by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, on October 30, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed S.J. RES # 366 (which became Public Law 101-473) designating March 30 as “National Doctors Day.”

As stated in a Presidential Proclamation, medicine is a special calling, and those who have chosen this vocation understand the tremendous responsibility it entails. Doctors carry on the quiet work of healing every day in our communities through hard work and sacrifice.

We look forward to continuing to work together with each of you to advance our profession and to ensure our voices are heard.

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