Great Doctors Throughout History for National Doctors’ Day

In 1990, Doctors’ Day was designated a national holiday to be celebrated each year on March 30th. Over the years, red carnations were given to doctors as tokens of appreciation, and have come to symbolize National Doctors’ Day. Tomorrow is National Doctors’ Day 2017. This is a great opportunity to show your thanks and appreciation for the doctors in your life!

Doctors provide an invaluable service that helps better the world we live in. They make communities healthier, improve our overall quality of life, and help guide us as we strive for wellness. Without the contributions that doctors make, our lives would be much different, and far less enjoyable.

To help celebrate National Doctors’ Day, and everything that doctors do for public health, here is a list of great doctors throughout history!

Hippocrates of Kos

Hippocrates was a Greek physician who lived c. 460 – c. 370 BC. Known as the “Father of Medicine”, Hippocrates established the first standards and ethical rules for the medical profession. Ever heard of the Hippocratic Oath?

William Osler

Sir William Osler was Physician-In-Chief at John Hopkins Hospital, and is often referred to as the “Father of Modern Medicine”. Osler founded the first residency program for specialty training of physicians, and his book The Principles and Practice of Medicine greatly influenced medicine for nearly a century.

Edward Jenner

Jenner is best known for his work developing the smallpox vaccine, which was the world’s first vaccine. In 1979, the World Health Organization declared smallpox an eradicated disease. Vaccines help save millions of lives each year.

Henry Gray

Henry Gray was a surgeon and anatomist whose work is still studied today. Gray first published Anatomy in 1858, and the book is still published today as Gray’s Anatomy. The book has greatly influenced modern medicine, and is considered an authoritative medical textbook to this day.

Elizabeth Blackwell

Today, it’s common for women to be doctors, but that wasn’t always the case. In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States.

Alexander Flemming

Alexander Flemming is credited with the discovery of penicillin in 1928. Penicillin led to the development of antibiotics, and is considered by many as one of the most important discoveries in modern medicine. In 1945, Flemming received a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work.

Virginia Apgar

Virginia Apgar became the first female professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1949, but she is best know for inventing the Apgar score in 1952. The Apgar score – a method for quickly summarizing the health of newborns – is still used to this day.

Joseph Lister

It goes without saying that surgery requires sterilized equipment. We can thank Joseph Lister for that. Known as the “Father of Modern Surgery”, Lister pioneered antiseptic surgery.


We have some truly great doctors within the MANA network, too! We would like to thank each and every one of them for their continued efforts and service in Northwest Arkansas. Whether you’re meeting with your primary care physician, your neighbor across the way is a medical doctor, or you’re good friends with your child’s pediatrician, be sure to extend a thank you to any physicians you meet for Doctors’ Day!