The Tradition of National Doctors’ Day

National Doctors’ Day dates back to March 30, 1933 in Winder, Georgia, when Eudora Brown Almond, the wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, decided to set a day aside to honor physicians.

Dr. Gaetano Paone performing a TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) procedure.

Dr. Gaetano Paone performing a TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) procedure.

It wasn’t until 60 years later that President George H.W. Bush signed Proclamation 6253, establishing National Doctors’ Day to “recognize our Nation’s physicians for their leadership in the prevention and treatment of illness and injury…”

Like the first observance in 1933, National Doctors’ day is still marked by patients thanking their physicians, mailing greeting cards, or sending flowers.

I want to take time to honor Dr. Hillier.  He delivered me and was our family physician when I was growing up in Troy in the 50’s.

In those days, Troy was a rural community and there were not a lot of doctors or health facilities there.  So, when we were sick, we went miles south on Rochester Road to the Palmer Woods area on Woodward to see Dr. Hillier.

I was very sick with tonsillitis.

My mom waited for my dad to come home from work, which was after 6 p.m. He took a look at me and said to call Dr. Hillier.

I heard my mom tell him that the doctor’s office closed at 6 p.m., but she called anyway.

“Bring John in,” Dr. Hillier said. So around 8 p.m. we made it to 6 Mile and Woodward.

A lot of Johns must have been brought in, because I remember the waiting room being filled.

Dr. Hillier was his usual kind and reassuring self, and he made me feel better despite the shot to my backside.

When I was well, I asked mom how we got in to see the doctor if the office was closed. “Because he cared and wanted you healthy,” she said.

Those were the simple budocdayDSCF1227t profound influences, the acts of caring and competence, which eventually lead me to a career in medicine.

So on Sunday, March 30, let’s take a moment to honor and celebrate the work of our physicians who serve our communities each day of the year.

If you’d like to send a special message to or thank a Henry Ford physician, please feel free to do so in the comments section below.

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3 thoughts on “The Tradition of National Doctors’ Day

  1. Dr. William Carion – We would like to thank you for taking care of our entire family. It’s so nice to have a doctor who is genuinely interested in the “person” and interested in their life situations. You’ve been a blessing to us! Have a great National Doctor’s Day!!

  2. A heartfelt thank you to all Doctors and staff at Dearborn-Ford Road Pediatrics. They’re the kindest of human beings and the compassion they show is outstanding. We appreciate your hard work, and the lollipops too!

  3. I worked with Dr Gary Zamanigan, and working with him for so long inspired me to pursue my higher education, I now have a Master’s degree in Health Administration, and I want to thank him for all the inspiration that came him along the way, plus I learned so much in the medical field because of him. Thanks Doc for hiring me in 1989, I wouldn’t be where I am today in medicine if it wasn’t for you!! Kudos to you Doc!!! 🙂

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