National Doctors’ Day has been observed in the United States for nearly 90 years. But this year, as America’s doctors work overtime to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, things are different.
Different because the physicians who have long been on the front lines in the fight for public health are now in a war to preserve it. Around the world, they’re caring for patients with COVID-19. Here at home, Hancock Health physicians are on high alert, answering questions, calming fears, and helping keep our coronavirus hotline—317-325-COVD (2683)—up and running. And, make no mistake, they are stretching themselves and their daily workloads to get it all done.
All of that makes this year’s observance of National Doctor’s Day on March 30 even more meaningful. We especially want to acknowledge Hancock Health’s team for the tireless work they do caring for our patients all year round.
So how did March 30 get to be National Doctors’ Day?
March 30, 1842, was the first date an ether anesthetic was used in surgery—and that apparently meant a lot to one doctor’s wife. On that date in 1933, Eudora Brown Almond, of Winder, Georgia, started an annual tradition of mailing greeting cards to all the doctors she knew and placing red carnations on the graves of deceased doctors. The day remained an unofficial holiday until 1990, when President George H.W. Bush signed the resolution making it a national holiday.
And how do we celebrate?
Depends on how far you want to take it. Thanking your doctors is probably enough.
But if there’s a doctor who’s become special to you or you’ve got one in the family, sending cards and red carnations is customary, as is placing the flowers on the graves of deceased doctors.
And we’ll be thanking our doctors all day, as well, for everything they do for Hancock Health and the people we serve. We invite you to join us; if you’re feeling extra grateful, send them a thank you card.