National Doctors’ Day

National Doctors’ Day falls on March 30. It is a special day to honor and recognize doctors for their service to the community.

National Doctors’ Day was first celebrated in 1933. Eudora Brown Almond, the wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, wanted to have a national day to celebrate doctors. The Barrow County Medical Auxiliary joined her in planning a special day for the doctors they supported.

This was their official resolution:

Whereas, the Auxiliary to the Barrow County Medical Society wishes to pay lasting tribute to her Doctors, therefore, be it resolved by the Auxiliary to the Barrow County Medical Society, 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.

Why March 30th? On March 30, 1842, in Jefferson, Georgia, Dr. Crawford Long used anesthetic in surgery for the first time. The Almonds lived in Winder, Georgia, and they admired Dr. Crawford and his discovery.

On that first Doctors’ Day, people sent greeting cards to doctors and their wives and left red carnations — still the official flower of the day — on the graves of Dr. Crawford and other doctors who had gone on to their rewards. In 1935, the Southern Medical Association Auxiliary officially adopted the red carnation.

The idea spread across the Southeast and then across the nation, supported by the medical auxiliary organizations.

In 1958, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution observing Doctors’ Day, and Congress declared March 30th National Doctors’ Day in 1990. Then-President George Bush made an official declaration of the holiday in that year.

WHEREAS society owes a debt of gratitude to physicians for the contributions of physicians in enlarging the reservoir of scientific knowledge increasing the number of scientific tools, and expanding the ability of health professionals to use the knowledge and tools effectively in the never ending fight against disease and,

WHEREAS society owes a debt of gratitude to physicians for the sympathy and compassion of physicians in ministering to the sick and in alleviating human suffering: Now, therefore, be it

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.

How to observe National Doctors’ Day

If you’re a doctor, put a red carnation in your buttonhole. Give the doctors you know red carnations so they can participate in the custom.

Cards are still appreciated. Send your thanks to the doctors who’ve made a difference in your life.

Here are some more ideas:

We appreciate all the MANA doctors, and we’re glad to have a special day to tell them so!

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