Medical Staff Coordinator
89 years ago, the Auxiliary of the Barrow County Medical Society in Winder, Georgia received a request from Eudora Almond asking if March 30 could be observed as Doctor’s Day. Being married to a physician, she no doubt, experienced firsthand the endless commitment and compassion that doctors pour into the health and wellbeing of their patients. To pay tribute to the doctors in the community, the Auxiliary mailed cards to the physicians and their wives to say thank you and also placed red carnations on the graves of earlier physicians who had deceased.
March 30, 1933, began a tradition that we continue today. Following overwhelming approval by the House and Senates, Present George Bush signed a resolution designating March 30 as National Doctors’ Day in 1991. Years later, we find ourselves searching for words that haven’t been said before that might highlight our ongoing and sincere gratitude. Especially considering how much has changed in 30 years. Handwritten charts have changed to filling in electronic checkboxes, medical knowledge is now questioned with medical necessity, pre-authorization rules delay procedures, drug and supply shortages make traditional care difficult, ever-changing regulations rob doctors of precious patient time, decreased reimbursement makes it hard to keep clinic doors open and let’s not even start with how COVID-19 has changed our healthcare system. And yet, through it all, our doctors never waver in their efforts to treat every patient with the dignity, respect, and empathy they deserve.
“Happy Doctors’ Day” just doesn’t seem to hit the mark. There is so much dedication, so much sacrifice and so much patience that goes into being a good doctor. And Delta County has a lot of them. I have had the pleasure of working with our doctors for fifteen years now, and I have watched them push themselves to the absolute limit because they have an inner calling to do so. They aren’t here to earn thanks or public recognition. They just love what they do. But we must thank them and we must recognize their efforts with heartfelt gratitude and praise.
Delta County physicians: may we use this year’s National Doctor’s Day to say once again, “We are aware of your challenges, much more than we admit. And we appreciate your commitment to us, much more than we say.” From all of us, thank you.