National Doctors’ Day started in Barrow County

Published: Saturday, March 30, 2019

Saturday, March 30, marks the celebration of National Doctors’ Day, an annual observance that started in Barrow County. The first Doctors’ Day observance was held on March 30, 1933, by the Barrow County Alliance in Winder. The idea of setting aside a day to honor physicians was conceived by Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond. The recognition occurred on the anniversary of the first administration of anesthesia by Dr. Crawford W. Long in Jefferson, Ga., in 1842.

The Alliance adopted the following resolution:  “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 Society 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.”

This first observance included the mailing of cards to physicians and their wives, flowers placed on graves of deceased doctors, including Dr. Long, and a formal dinner in the home of Dr. and Mrs. William T. Randolph. After the Barrow County Alliance adopted Mrs. Almond’s resolution, the plan was presented to the Georgia State Medical Alliance in 1933. On May 10, 1934, the resolution was adopted at the annual state meeting in Augusta, Ga.

On March 30, 1958, a Resolution Commemorating Doctors’ Day was adopted by the United States House of Representatives. In 1990, legislation was introduced in the House and Senate to establish a national Doctors’ Day and was signed by President George H.W. Bush designating March 30 as “National Doctors’ Day.”

“National Doctors’ Day is an important day for us because of the invaluable contributions of our physicians, but it is even more special because this national observance started right here in Barrow County,” said Chad Hatfield, president of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Barrow. “This is a day for us to say thanks and show our appreciation for the important role doctors play in helping us achieve our mission of improving the health of our community in all we do.”