Doctors' Day

Doctors' Day - Sunday, March 30, 2025

Health Careers

March 30 is Doctors’ Day, an annual observance aimed at appreciating physicians who help save our lives everywhere. The holiday first started in 1933 in Winder, Georgia, and since then it’s been honored every year on March 30 which was the first anniversary of a doctor using ether anesthesia by Dr. Crawford W. Long. Today we continue to celebrate medical advances like these and thank all doctors everywhere who’ve spent so much time and energy mastering their field of expertise.

It’s easy to forget just how important, valuable and necessary good doctors are – that is until you get ill or sustain an injury. Doctors Day puts hard-working doctors in the spotlight, and encourages us to be considerate of the long hours they work, their compassion, and the effort they put into practicing medicine.

Learn about Doctors’ Day

All around the world, Doctors’ Day is celebrated, as we all recognize the contributions that physicians make in the community and to individual lives. Some countries will celebrate Doctors’ Day on a different date, yet all nations make sure that those in the healthcare sector are appreciated. We think that it is only right that these people are celebrated! After all, just imagine how life would be if there weren’t any doctors in the world! 

There is no denying that healthcare is one of the most pivotal industries in the world. Jobs in this field are also getting more and more advanced and complicated. Progressions are being made in medicine all of the time, with doctors having more information and tools at their fingertips than ever before. It can be an overwhelming job, to say the least. They have to diagnose different conditions and treat a wide range of people on a daily basis. The outcome is not always good, and this can be difficult to deal with. It is hard to imagine what doctors go through on a day-to-day basis. Plus, they’re always available for us. Unfortunately, illnesses and injuries don’t wait for a convenient time to strick; they can happen at any time and on any day, and that’s why it is so important that we always have doctors to rely on when we’re not feeling like our usual selves. 

History of Doctors’ Day

The first time that Doctors’ Day was observed in the United States took place on the 30th of March back in 1933. This event was in Georgia’s Winder area. Eudora Brown Almond, who was married to Dr. Charles B Almond, thought that there should be a day to honor physicians. On this date, flowers were placed on the graves of doctors that had passed away. Because of this, red carnations are widely viewed as the symbolic flower for this day. 

Since this date, there have been a number of other significant moments in history as well. For example, did you know that the first ether anesthetic was used for surgery on the 30th of March as well? This took place in 1842 and it was administered by Crawford W. Long, M.D. Before an operation was carried out on a man’s neck to remove a tumor, anesthesia was administered. After the surgery, the man said that he was not able to feel anything during the procedure and that he was not aware of anything that had happened until he had woken up. It is crazy to think about a day whereby people didn’t have anaesthesia before going under the knife, isn’t it? We’re certainly thankful for the progressions in healthcare! 

How to celebrate Doctors’ Day

There are many different ways that Doctors’ Day can be celebrated. The first thing you should do is to make sure that your doctor knows that he or she is appreciated. Take this day as a chance to thank your physician for providing unswerving care, working long hours, and responding to late-night calls. We are sure that a lot of people reading this will feel thankful to one or several people in the medical professional for the way that they have looked after you or a loved one. Let’s use this day as an opportunity to show them how much we appreciate their efforts. 

Aside from showing your appreciation by thanking your doctor, you can celebrate Doctors’ Day is by going down the traditional route and leaving a red carnation on the grave of a doctor who has passed away. You may also want to give red carnations to anyone in this field who you appreciate. Or, why not share a photograph of a red carnation on your social media pages and include a message about Doctors’ Day and why it is so important to share the love on this date?

Another good way to celebrate Doctors’ Day is by doing a bit of research. You can delve deeper into what it is like to be a doctor, helping you to get a better understanding of what these incredible professionals go through on a day-to-day basis. You can also spend some time reading up on some of the most influential physicians of the past century. We’ll kick you off with a good person to focus on, and this is Jonas Salk. Dr Jonas Salk is celebrated for creating the first vaccine for polio. His creation had a monumental impact.

After the vaccine was introduced, the incidence rate of polio in the United States reduced from 45,000 cases per annum in the early ‘50s to just 912 cases by 1962. This is a massive reduction, and we have the New York-born physician to thank for this! Some other famous doctors that we would recommend reading about on this day include Benjamin Spock, Aaron Beck, Carl Jung, and Basil Hirschowitz. It is incredible to read up about these amazing people and the influence they had on the world of medicine as we know it today. 

Finally, there are lots of great films and television shows that are based on doctors. Why not get the popcorn in and have a doctor-based movie marathon? One of our favorites is the film Wit, which follows a renowned professor who is forced to reassess her life when she finds out that she has terminal ovarian cancer. We would also recommend watching the 1998 film Patch Adams, which features the late Robin Williams.

The movie is about the true story of Hunter “Patch” Adams, a heroic man who loved helping people and was dedicated to making it as a medical doctor. The story watches Hunter as he goes where no doctor has dared to go before, combining pathos and humour. It is a truly heart-warming film! You also have a wide range of TV series that you can get stuck into on Doctors’ Day. Greys Anatomy is arguably the most famous, but there are plenty of other great watches as well, including The Resident, Chicago Med, and The Good Doctor. 

History of Doctors' Day

Eudora Brown Almond, the wife of a doctor in Georgia, believed her husband and other physicians deserved more recognition for their hard work and set out to make this idea a reality. The first observed Doctors’ Day occurred on March 30, 1933, exactly 91 years after Dr. Long’s remarkable discovery.

Almond mailed greeting cards to all local physicians and their wives, and she put flowers on the graves of deceased doctors, including Dr. Long. The flowers were red carnations, which would later become the representative flower for the national holiday. A few other local doctors’ wives even assisted Almond in preparing a celebratory luncheon so their husbands’ work in healthcare could be publicly appreciated.

The tradition of delivering greeting cards to physicians, both alive and dead, has continued throughout the years and is still a common way of celebrating this holiday today. The red carnation is also still popularly used to say “thank you” to doctors for their work in medicine.

Doctors’ Day was unofficially celebrated for many years before it became a legal holiday. On March 30, 1958, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a resolution that commemorates Doctors’ Day and on October 30, 1990, George W. Bush signed the legislature after approval from both the House and the Senate.

However, other countries celebrate their doctors on a different day than we do, often to recognize an important physician from their country. Spain, Cuba, and Argentina celebrate on December 3 to commemorate Dr. Carlos Juan Finlay’s birthday, who famously identified mosquitos as the cause of yellow fever. India celebrates on July 1 to commemorate the birthday of Dr. B. C. Roy, who also sadly died on that date.

Doctors' Day timeline


First Successful Artificial Heart Surgery

Dr. William DeVries successfully implanted an artificial heart into a human body after 7 hours of surgery.


First Woman Doctor

Elizabeth Blackwell graduated from the Geneva Medical College with a medical degree in 1849.

1400 AD

“Physician” Legitimized by Oxford English Dictionary

The word “physician” was included in the third edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.

500 BC - 300 BC

The Hippocratic Oath

The first physicians swore to the Greek gods that their work in healing would meet ethical standards.

Doctors' Day FAQs

How do people celebrate Doctors’ Day?

There is no right way to celebrate Doctors’ Day and luckily, you have many traditions to choose from. You can host a celebratory luncheon or recognition ceremony if you like to go big or simply give your local physicians a treat or “thank you” note.

What do you write in a Doctors’ Day card?

Write something heartfelt that lets your local doctor know how much you appreciate their hard work. A simple “thank you” will be sure to put a smile on any hardworking doctor’s face.

How do you thank a doctor?

Buy your doctor an appreciation gift, such as flowers, a greeting card, or tasty treats to thank them. However, you can also thank the physicians in your life without spending money by thanking them personally and encouraging those around you to do so as well.

5 Fun Facts About Doctors

  1. Hallmark has a card for that

    Due to the holiday’s popularity, Hallmark has official greeting cards for Doctors' Day.

  2. Women doctors are on the rise

    Nearly half (47%) of graduating medical students in 2018 were female.

  3. I now pronounce you Dr. and Dr.

    It is common for doctors to marry other doctors or another healthcare professional.

  4. Doctors are hard at work

    More than sixty percent of all physicians reported working overtime or close to 60 hours a week.

  5. “Doctor” is a Latin word

    The word “doctor” comes from Latin root word “docere,” meaning “to teach.”

Doctors' Day Activities

  1. Give thanks to the doctors in your life

    It's always important to recognize the hard work and dedication that physicians demonstrate in our hospitals and communities each day. Send your doctor an appreciation card or email, donate to your local medical center, or even nominate your doctor for an award. With nearly 700,000 people working as physicians and surgeons across the United States, your doctor would be thrilled to know that their hard work has been valuable to your health.

  2. Schedule that much needed check-up

    Regular visits to your doctor can help find problems before they start and help you have a better chance of treatment and cure. Instead of avoiding your doctor and healthcare provider, take initiative in scheduling regular visits to ensure you're on the right track to better health.

  3. Stay healthy

    While doctors love to diagnose and help alleviate your problems, they also want you to stay healthy too. Continue practicing daily healthy routines—hydrate, exercise, and fuel up on balanced meals. Your doctor (and your health) will be sure to thank you!

Why We Love Doctors' Day

  1. The relieve more than just physical pain

    Not only do doctors diagnose our everyday illnesses, but also they address our fears, our loneliness, and anxiety. They offer valuable advice to not only help us physically but mentally too. By listening to them, they help us survive and thrive.

  2. They put us back together again

    Doctors cut open living people to remove disease, hold our heart in their hands, and put our broken bones back together. By doing the incredible things they do everyday, people who might otherwise have died, don’t, and we can live longer, fuller lives. No matter what their specialty is, doctors significantly improve your well-being and are critical in furthering the lives of their patients. Doctors are truly the everyday superheroes!

  3. They're resilient

    A doctor works an average of nearly 60 hours a week and even more impressive, they work 1.5 times more years than the average American does. They work well under pressure, they're industrious, and they're attentive towards each patient. If there's one person you can count on who will never get burnt out, it's definitely your doctor.

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