Doctors' Day

Doctors' Day

March 30
Since 1933 this day has been set aside to honor America's physicians. It is the anniversary of the day in 1842 on which Dr. Crawford W. Long removed a tumor from the neck of a man while the patient was anesthetized by ether. Dr. Long was the first acclaimed American physician to use ether as an anesthetic agent in a surgical procedure.
Although Doctors' Day highlights the achievement of Dr. Long, the issue of who really discovered general anesthesia is far from clear. In addition to Dr. Long, Gardner Colton, Horace Wells, and Charles Jackson have also claimed credit for the discovery, although some used nitrous oxide gas while others used ether. It was William Thomas Morton who first demonstrated the use of ether as a general anesthetic in front of a gathering of physicians on October 16, 1846, at Massachusetts General Hospital.
The red carnation is the official flower associated with Doctors' Day. The American Medical Association promotes various activities to mark this day, including walk-a-thons and blood drives.
CONTACTS:
American Medical Association
515 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60610
800-621-8335
www.ama-assn.org
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, pp. 53, 173
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