Published: March 30, 2018

Millions of physicians around the world have taken a Hippocratic oath to care for the injured and the sick. On any given day, doctors can be found performing life-saving surgeries, curing diseases and helping to heal broken bones.

National Doctor’s Day, which is celebrated on March 30th every year, has been set aside to celebrate and honor medical doctors who work tirelessly to provide compassionate care to patients.

On Oct. 30th, 1990, President George W. Bush appointed March 30th as National Doctors Day. However, the holiday can be traced back to March 30th, 1933. On that date, the wife of a prominent Georgia doctor — Eudora Brown Almond, decided to honor physicians by mailing greeting cards to all the doctors that she knew. She also placed red carnations on the graves of deceased physicians. The red carnation is the flower still used today to symbolize the holiday.

Eudora Brown Almond had chosen March 30th to recognize physicians because the date in 1842 was the first time that anesthetic was used during surgery.

Today, there are many examples of doctors who deserve to be recognized — whose humanity brings healing and hope to others. Sometimes it’s a simple gesture, like a doctor showing compassion to a person who recently lost a spouse. Other times, it is more involved such as the care given by Katia Lugo and her team of emergency physicians, who traveled from Miami to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria to help bring long-term relief to residents affected by the disaster. Dr. Lugo along with Drs. Jorge Lopez, Julian Trivino, and Alfredo Tirado provided lifesaving care to Puerto Rican residents in spite of lacking essential medical equipment and supplies.

Lugo and her colleagues dealt with severe conditions in Puerto Rico, such as a lack of clean drinking water, adequate communication, and other obstacles. In spite of these issues, the team of brave doctors stuck to their mission of caring for the residents of Puerto Rico.

As a physician, you may not have to deal with a lack of clean water or no cell service, but we know, that on a daily basis, you face situations and make decisions that most humans don’t experience over a lifetime. We want to thank you for your commitment, your care and all that you do.

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