Bonus: Thank You, Doctor

It’s National Physician’s Week and in view of the challenges our healthcare providers are facing today in the midst of this frightening pandemic, all of us at Prescription for Success want to remember our physician colleagues during their special week and to say thank you for all that you do. We’re grateful for your service.

Dr. Crawford W. Long

The first celebration of Doctors’ Day took place in the tiny community of Winder, Georgia in 1933. The original celebration was a strictly local event to honor local physicians, and especially the late Dr. Crawford Williamson Long, whose gravesite is near Winder. Dr. Long was a surgeon and pharmacist who administered the first general anesthesia for surgery in 1842 using sulfuric ether. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t publish his experience until 1849, after he had accumulated a series of several cases. It was at this point he discovered that another surgeon, Dr. William T. G. Morton had demonstrated the use of ether as an anesthetic to an audience at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Morton had published his experience in December of 1846. So, even though Long was the first to use ether, he never really got the recognition for it because he was late to publish. In spite of that, he was much revered Across the state of Georgia, and especially in those counties where he practiced.

The original Doctors’ Day event was put together back in 1933 by Mrs. Eudora Brown Almond, who was the wife of a physician in Winder, Georgia. She wanted to do something to honor the physicians in the community, so, among other things, thank you cards were mailed to the local physicians and their wives, and flowers were placed on the graves of the deceased physicians including Dr. Crawford Long. The day’s activities culminated in an elaborate formal dinner in the home of Dr. and Mrs. William T. Randolph on March 28. The event was so successful that Mrs. Eudora Brown, who was the chief organizer, rallied the community of winder and the surrounding counties to get the attention of the women’s alliance of the Southern Medical Association.

Over the years, the commemoration of Doctors’ Day spread across the south, and finally, on October 30, 1990, 55 years after the original event, the 101st Congress of the United States enacted a joint resolution proclaiming March 30. As National Doctors’ Day in the United States. The date is significant because March 30, is the anniversary of the day that Dr. Crawford Long administered that first general anesthetic in surgery.

Dr. Marion Mass along with Dr. Kimberly Jackson and Dr. Christina Lang applied to officially have physicians day changed to physicians week, which was accepted in March 2017.

Notes:

Doctor’s Day – March 30, 2020
National Physicians’ Week Facebook Page
New Georgia Encyclopedia biography of Dr. Crawford Long

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