Healthcare professionals across the country have had an extremely challenging year since COVID-19 was first declared a pandemic in March 2020. It seems even more fitting this year to celebrate National Doctor’s Day by acknowledging the hard work and dedication of independent physicians.
Independent providers are an important part of the healthcare system in this country. The number of physicians has increased over the past 50 years and now there are almost a million active doctors in the US. The highest number of active physicians are located in California, followed by New York and then Texas. In 2018, over 45% of practicing physicians owned their practices.
In fact, when the physicians, physician employees, and independent contractors are included, 54% of physicians worked in practices owned by physicians in 2018. In addition:
- Just under 15% of physicians are in solo practice.
- Nearly 57% of physicians work in a practice with 10 or fewer physicians.
- Nearly 15% of physicians are in practices with 50 or more physicians.
- Nearly 43% of physicians belong to a single-specialty group.
To honor these hard-working physicians, Doctor’s Day was first observed on March 30, 1933, by the Barrow County Alliance in Winder, Georgia. The idea was conceived by Eudora Brown Almond, who was married to Dr. Charles B. Almond. The recognition of doctors’ work occurred on the anniversary of the date that anesthesia was first administered, by Dr. Crawford W. Long, in Jefferson, Georgia, in 1842. The resolution read:
“WHEREAS the Alliance to the Barrow County Medical Society wishes to pay lasting tribute to the Doctors, therefore, be it RESOLVED by the Alliance to the Barrow County Medical that March 30, the day that famous Georgian Dr. Crawford W. Long first used ether anesthesia in surgery, be adopted as “Doctors’ Day,” the object to be the well-being and honor of the profession, its observance demanding some act of kindness, gift or tribute in remembrance of the Doctors.”
The resolution to observe Doctor’s Day expanded across the southeast and on March 30, 1958, a resolution commemorating Doctor’s Day was adopted by the US House of Representatives. In 1990, legislation was introduced in the House and the Senate to establish National Doctor’s Day. Following overwhelming approval, President George Bush signed it into law on October 30, 1990, designating March 30 as National Doctor’s Day.
At Elation Health, we honor all independent physicians with a virtual red carnation, which has been used as a symbol of Doctor’s Day throughout the years. It’s been noted that the analogy of the carnation is closely woven in medical science and so it was chosen early on as an appropriate symbol for the day.
We also recognize the tremendous challenges independent physicians and their staff face during these uncertain times. We appreciate the work that is being done by independent practices to take the measures necessary to continue providing quality care during the pandemic, especially.
Today and every day, we say, thank you, doctors!