For many people, March 30 is just another day on the calendar. But medical doctors know that March 30 is National Doctors Day. Read on to learn about this holiday, and keep scrolling for an infographic containing more than 40 interesting statistics about medical doctors.
What is National Doctors Day?
National Doctors Day is a holiday to pay special recognition to medical doctors and their contributions to society. Congress designated March 30, 1991, as National Doctors Day with the passing of Public Law 101-473, and George Bush issued a proclamation in observance of the day on Feb. 21, 1991.
When is Doctors Day 2020?
National Doctors Day 2020 is on Monday, March 30, 2020. Why is National Doctors Day on March 30? According to doctorsday.org, the first National Doctors Day observance was on March 30, 1933, in Winder, GA. Eudora Brown Almond, the spouse of a doctor, selected the date in honor of Dr. Crawford Williamson Long.
Per “How March 30th Came to be Doctors’ Day,” by Rod K. Calverley: “From the time of her early childhood in rural Ft. Lamar, GA, Eudora Brown had admired the gentle kindness of her family doctor. In 1920 Eudora married Dr. Charles B. Almond and, believing that healing the sick was man’s greatest profession, became convinced that medical practitioners deserved a day of recognition. She selected March 30 to honor the man she considered Georgia’s most famous son.”
Born in 1815 in Danielsville, GA, Dr. Long painlessly removed a tumor from the neck of a patient, his friend James M. Venable, to whom he had administered ether. Though there is some controversy as to which doctor discovered anesthesia, Dr. Long is widely accepted today as the pioneer of surgical anesthesia through inhalation of ether.
Do doctors celebrate National Doctors Day?
It’s possible to see some medical doctors sporting red carnations, the symbolic flower of National Doctors Day, on March 30. Other medical providers might also mark the day by distributing commemorative cards, as Eudora Brown Almond did in 1933, or small Doctors Day gifts such as lapel pins.
Kelly Cawcutt, MD, MS, pondered whether doctors actually celebrate National Doctors Day on her blog, ParagonFire, in 2018. “I am not sure that we celebrate it in the way Hallmark would suggest,” Cawcutt writes. “I think we celebrate it not for ourselves, but in deep, sometimes wordless, appreciation of our colleagues. In recognition of the commitment and care of our colleagues. And at the end of the day, we do not toast ourselves. We toast our colleagues and silently strive to improve. To be worthy of the thank you, the note of appreciation, the calling.”
What is it like to be a doctor today?
Keith Reynold Jennings, VP of Community Impact at Jackson Healthcare and the son of a hospital CEO, says it’s a tough time to be a doctor. “We’re seeing a growing discontent among physicians from all specialties and regions of the country,” he writes. “Decreased autonomy and reimbursements, increased time away from patients dealing with administrative and regulatory hassles, the corporatization of medicine, fear of litigation and longer hours are key reasons driving this.”
PatientPop found it to be true that many medical doctors experience challenges at work, which can lead to side effects such as physician burnout. But this is just a glimpse of the full picture. See the Doctors Day 2020 infographic below for more information on what it’s like to be a doctor today, from before they’re board certified to well into their careers.
Happy Doctors Day from PatientPop
Though few people would ever say being a medical doctor is easy, the data make clear that doctors are deserving of a special day of recognition. In honor of National Doctors Day 2020, everyone at PatientPop says thank you, doctors, for everything you do.
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Infographic data and sources
- Nearly 3 out of 4 (73%) of doctors knew before the age of 20 that they wanted to be doctors. American Medical Association
- The Top 5 rated medical schools for research are Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and University of California – San Francisco. Best Medical Schools: Research 2020, U.S. News & World Report
- The median undergraduate grade point average (GPA) for the Top 5 medical schools is 3.88. MCAT, GPA, and Med School Acceptance Rates: The Selectivity Index, Accepted
- The median Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) score for the Top 5 medical schools is 519. MCAT, GPA, and Med School Acceptance Rates: The Selectivity Index, Accepted
- 19,553 people graduated from medical school in the U.S. in the 2017-2018 school year. Total Graduates by U.S. Medical School and Sex, 2013-2014 through 2017, 2018, Association of American Medical Colleges
- The number of medical school graduates is up 8% from 2013-2014. Total Graduates by U.S. Medical School and Sex, 2013-2014 through 2017, 2018, Association of American Medical Colleges
- The median level of debt for medical school graduates is $192,000, including undergraduate debt. Medical Student Education: Debt, Costs, and Loan Repayment Fact Card, October 2017, American Medical Association
- Medical school graduates spend 2-7 years in residency, depending on specialty. Occupational Outlook Handbook, Physicians and Surgeons, Bureau of Labor Statistics
- There are 472,560 professionally active primary care physicians in the U.S. Professionally Active Physicians, October 2018, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
- There are 518,128 professionally active specialist physicians in the U.S. Professionally Active Physicians, October 2018, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
- There are an estimated 175,000 private primary care and specialist practices in the U.S. PatientPop estimate 2019, based on SK&A and other market sources
- There are 295 actively licensed physicians per 100,000-population in the U.S. A Census of Actively Licensed Physicians in the United States, 2016, Journal of Medical Regulation
- California is the state with the most professionally active primary care and specialist physicians, followed by New York and Texas, respectively. Professionally Active Physicians, October 2018, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
- 26% of physicians are self-employed and 69% are employed. Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2018
- The average overall salary is $223,000 for primary care physicians and $329,000 for specialist physicians. Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2018
- 56% of doctors spend 35-40 hours per week seeing patients. Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2018
- 62% of doctors spend 13-24 minutes with each patient. Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2018
- The majority (38%) of doctors spend 10-19 hours per week on paperwork. Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2018
- 32% of doctors spend 20 or more hours per week on paperwork. Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2018
- The majority of doctors (27%) say the most challenging part of their job is “having so many rules and regulations.” Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2018
- 16% of doctors say “having to work long hours” is the most challenging part of their job. Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2018
- 15% of doctors say “dealing with difficult patients” is the most challenging part of their job. Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2018
- 44% of physicians report feeling burnout. Medscape National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report 2019
- Burnout among physicians is down 10% from 2014 to 2017 (54.4% in 2014, 44% in 2017). Changes in Burnout and Satisfaction With Work-Life Integration in Physicians and the General US Working Population Between 2011 and 2017
- Of physicians who feel burnt out, 59% say too many bureaucratic tasks (charting, paperwork) contribute. Medscape National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report 2019
- 34% of physicians who feel burnout say spending too many hours at work contributes. Medscape National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report 2019
- Seven out of 10 physicians (71%) agree that EHRs greatly contribute to physician burnout, and six out of 10 (59%) think EHRs need a complete overhaul. How Doctors Feel About Electronic Health Records, National Physician Poll by The Harris Poll
- Urologists have the highest rates of burnout (54%). Medscape National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report 2019
- Neurologists have the second-highest rates of burnout (53%). Medscape National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report 2019
- Physical rehabilitation physicians have the third-highest rates of burnout (52%). Medscape National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report 2019
- 9 in 10 doctors say they are satisfied with their career choice. American Medical Association
- Physicians who are rushed less often are nearly 40 percent more likely to report feeling a deep sense of fulfillment in their work every day. athenahealth Physician Burnout and Capability Survey 2018
- Plastic surgeons are the happiest at work (41%). Medscape National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report 2019
- Public health and preventive medicine physicians are the second-happiest at work (40%). Medscape National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report 2019
- Ophthalmologists are the third-happiest at work (39%). Medscape National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report 2019
- 27% of doctors say the most rewarding part of their job is “gratitude/relationships with patients.” Medscape National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report 2019
- 43% of physicians take 3 to 4 weeks of vacation per year. Medscape Physician Lifestyle & Happiness Report 2019
- 28% of physicians take 1-2 weeks of vacation per year. Medscape Physician Lifestyle & Happiness Report 2019
- Employment of physicians and surgeons is projected to grow 13% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Occupational Outlook Handbook, Physicians and Surgeons, Bureau of Labor Statistics
- 61% of doctors said they would encourage others to enter the field of medicine. American Medical Association