National Doctors’ Day and its Significance

Doctors are described as the forms of divine and have a very important role to play in alleviating the sufferings of their patients, who regard them as heroes and have great expectations from them.

In order to commemorate their role and to thank them a day is earmarked for it. This date is different and is variable from country to country. First July every year in India is celebrated as the National Doctors Day.

The concept of having an annual day for appreciating the doctors’ efforts made a beginning in the USA by Eudora Brown Almond, the wife of Dr Charles B Almond. March 30th was selected as the date to commemorate Dr Crawford W Long’s first administration of anaesthesia. First doctors day began in 1933. The date coincides with the first surgery done under anaesthesia in Jefferson, Georgia in 1842.

Likewise, every other nation has its own date for observing the day. In India it is observed on 1st July since 1991 to honour the legendary physician Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy who was born on this day. He was from West Bengal and also served as the chief minister of the state from 1948 till his death on 1st July in 1962, ironically on his birth date.

He was a brilliant doctor and has had the rare combination of having passed FRCS (Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons) and MRCP (Membership of Royal college of physicians) simultaneously.

One of the things Dr Roy was dedicated for, was to provide affordable healthcare to all people of India. He was instrumental in establishing several good facilities in West Bengal, which included the Jadavpur T B Hospital, Chittaranjan Seva Sadan, Kamla Nehru Memorial Hospital, Victoria Institution and many others including Chittaranjan Seva Sadan women and children Hospital. In addition to his serving the sick he also took an active part in freedom struggle of India along with Mahatma Gandhi.

The community is proud of their doctors, who have been their soldiers not at the borders of the country but within it by working to save lives, improve life expectancy and quality of life.

There are innumerable instances where they have not given up despite being attacked by angry patients and their relatives. Their heroic efforts of selfless medical service during COVID and other epidemics, even risking their lives is still fresh in our memory.

The theme of this year’s Doctors Day is “Resilience and Healing touch” in recognition of their constant commitment despite adversities and ability to bounce back especially during the recent past all over the world.

The Day is celebrated by the allied health care workers, patients and their families in several ways: hosting an appreciation meal, the red carnation boutonniere as a symbol of love, sending “Happy doctors’ day” messages to their physicians, creating short videos for them, distributing personalised small gifts like pens, door signs etc.

Doctors’ day is an occasion to appreciate the efforts and valour of their saviours by the general public, patients and those associated with health care. It is like giving back love and affection to their physicians by creating an emotional bondage so essential for their continued zeal to serve the society. It is a very important annual event internationally.

(Note: This article was slated for 1st July. Since it was Eid holiday and no newspaper was published on Saturday, July 1st, it is appearing today.)

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK

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