Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Doctor's Day Vs. Nurses Week

Happy Doctor's Day everybody. Doctor's Day has been celebrated since 1933 as a day to acknowledge the contributions of physicians to the healthcare system. This morning, when we walked into the hospital, we were given red carnation boutonnieres to carry around as if we were getting ready to go to a wedding. The flowers weren't terribly practical though since we're not supposed to bring them into the OR's and some patients on the wards are not supposed to have flowers in their rooms. The hospital also provided a nice tray of high calorie carbs for breakfast, which was promptly snarfed up by everybody else since the doctors were too busy seeing patients to go to the lounge to eat.

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?


  1. Wow! Things sure have changed since I celebrated Nurses Day many decades ago. All I ever received was a poster depicting a beat up pair of white Clinic nursing shoes and with some lame expression of gratitude like "Thanks Nurses for all You Do."

    Maybe you should have stuffed a doughnut in your pocket instead of that red carnation. At least you would have received something out of the celebration.

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