National Doctor’s Day – Date, History And Significance

National Doctor’s Day – Date, History And Significance

National Doctor's Day, national doctor's day 2021
National Doctor’s Day

Today the world is struggling to survive from the Covid-19 pandemic. It is the real time to celebrate the real heroes who are fighting the long war against the coronavirus for our lives at the cost of their own. The National Doctor’s Day is celebrated across the world. The day is celebrated on several different dates in different countries. In the USA, the National Doctor’s Day is celebrated on March 30 every year. In India this day is celebrated on July 1 each year to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy who was an eminent doctor, educationalist, freedom fighter and the second Chief Minister of West Bengal. The coronavirus pandemic is still looming over our daily lives. So the significance of National Doctor’s Day 2021 has increased ten folds.

National Doctor’s Day History :

Celebration of the National Doctor’s Day was the brainchild of Eudora Brown Almond. Almond was the wife of the famous physician Dr. Charles B. Almond. She believed her husband and other physicians deserved more recognition for their hard work in the society. She set out to make this idea a reality. The first Doctors’ Day was observed on March 28, 1933. 

Eudora Brown Almond mailed greeting cards to all local physicians and their wives. She put red carnation flowers on the graves of deceased doctors. These red carnation flowers would later become the representative flower for the national holiday. 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 flowers are still popular 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 legislation after approval from both the House and the Senate.

However, other countries celebrate their doctors on a different day to recognize an important physician from their country. Argentina, Spain and Cuba celebrate Doctir’s Day on December 3 to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Carlos Juan Finlay who identified mosquitos as the cause of yellow fever. India celebrates Doctor’s Day on July 1 to commemorate the birthday of Dr. B. C. Roy, who also sadly died on that date. The First Doctor’s Day was celebrated in India on July 1 in the year 1991.

Significance of the National Doctor’s Day :

National Doctor’s Day is celebrated to recognise and appreciate the significant roles and responsibilities of doctors in the society. It helps common man to become aware about the roles, importance and the precious care delivered by doctors. National Doctor’s Day has been celebrated for years by the government and non-government healthcare organizations in order to get familiar with the doctor’s contributions. Consultation workshops, free medical checkup camps, general screening test camps are organised across the country. Activities are also organised at the school and college level so as to encourage young students to take up medical profession. Patients greet their doctors by distributing greeting cards, bouquets, gifts etc. This special day gives us a chance to thank our heroes for their selfless service in healthcare.

About Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy :

Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy was a famous physician and renowned educationist as well as a freedom fighter. He was born on July 1, 1882 at Patna, Bihar. He completed his graduation in Mathematics following which he studied medicine at University of Calcutta. He went to England to join the famous St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. But he was initially denied admission as he came from the Asian continent. His admission was finally approved after thirty attempts. He completed his Member of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) and Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) degree in London. He started his medical career as a physician in India in 1911. He then joined the Calcutta Medical College as a faculty. Later he moved to the Campbell Medical School and then to Carmichael Medical College.

He joined the Civil Disobedience Movement with Mahatma Gandhi. Later he became the leader of Indian National Congress. He also became the second Chief Minister of West Bengal.

The great doctor and the leader passed away on July 1, 1962. The Medical Council of India (MCI) set up Dr. B.C. Roy National Award Fund in 1962 to immortalize his memory. The Dr B.C.Roy National Award was instituted in 1976 to encourage the specialities in different branches in Medicine. Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy was honored with the great Indian civilian award “Bharat Ratna” on February 4, 1961.


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