National Doctors’ Day is observed March 30 each year, and was established to recognize physicians, their work, and their contributions to society and the community. We've been celebrating this day with our doctors every year since the 90s, but do you know the history of this annual event commemorates an incredible breakthrough in medicine?
From our friends at VeryWell Health:
The holiday was officially signed into U.S. law in the early 1990s by President George Bush. The history of Doctors’ Day dates back to the early 1930s, however.
It was conceived by Eudora Brown Almond, a physician’s wife in Georgia. She chose the date of March 30 because it is the anniversary of the day that surgical anesthesia was first administered to a patient. This was an innovation by Dr. Crawford W. Long in 1842 in Georgia.
Dr Long noticed that his friends felt no pain when they injured themselves while staggering around under the influence of the recreational use of ether. He immediately thought of its potential in surgery.
Conveniently, a participant in one of those "ether frolics," a student named James Venable, had two small tumors he wanted to be excised. Fearing the pain of surgery, Venable kept putting the operation off. Long suggested that he have his operation while under the influence of ether. Venable agreed, and on March 30, 1842, he underwent a painless operation. However, Long did not announce his discovery until 1849.
Amazing! And it makes you wonder, what did we do for anesthesia before 1842??
So yes, thank you Doctors, for all you do, and Happy National Doctors' Day from all of us at PFMI!