These small gestures of are appreciation are nice, but they pale in comparison to what the hospital does for National Nurses Week. The hospital is so desperate to keep our nurses happy that the festivities last for an entire five days. One day there is free breakfast. Another day is free lunch. A rolling ice cream cart loaded with Dove ice cream bars circulates throughout the medical facility as nurses dash after it to get their free dessert. They hold a lunchtime gala where nurses can pick up free T-shirts, pens, notepads, and other tchotchkes emblazoned with the hospital's insignia just so that they know they are wanted and needed. Frankly, there is no comparison between the level of gratitude shown to nurses and the token actions given to doctors that come across as afterthoughts.
I can't really blame the hospital for this disparate treatment of physicians and nurses. The American Nurses Association is already touting National Nurses Week on its home page. And it's not even until May. Meanwhile on Doctor's Day, our trusted advocates over at the AMA doesn't mention it at all. Doing a search on their website today doesn't bring up any links pertaining to Doctor's Day. If our own national organization doesn't care about the one day celebrating the contributions of physicians, why should anybody else?