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    61st Medical Squadron marks Doctors’ Day



    Story by James Spellman 

    Space and Missile Systems Center Public Affairs

    For more than 80 years, March 30 has been a day to honor physicians and the ways they serve others — through patient care, health care leadership and community service. Usually, it’s a time for patients and families to say “thank you” to doctors for their important role in helping individuals and promoting the overall health of the nation. The date may vary from nation to nation depending on the event of commemoration used to mark the day. In some nations the day is marked as a holiday.

    Although supposed to be celebrated by patients in, and benefactors of the healthcare industry, it is usually celebrated by health care organizations. Staff may organize a lunch for doctors to present the physicians with tokens of recognition.

    The very first observance of Doctors’ Day dates back to March 30, 1933, in Winder, Georgia. The idea came from Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, and the date chosen was the anniversary of the first use of general anesthesia in surgery. On March 30, 1842, in Jefferson, Georgia, Dr. Crawford Long used ether to anesthetize a patient, James Venable, and painlessly excised a tumor from his neck.

    On March 30, 1958, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a resolution for the day and it was introduced to the House and Senate in 1990. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush signed legislation officially establishing the day.

    Military medicine was highlighted in the presidential proclamation, which reads, in part:

    "As we recognize our Nation's physicians for their leadership in the prevention and treatment of illness and injury, it is fitting that we pay special tribute to those who serve as members of the Armed Forces and Reserves and are now deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm. Whether they carry the tools of healing into the heat of battle or stand duty at medical facilities in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere, these dedicated physicians -- along with thousands of nurses and other medical personnel -- are vital to the success of our mission. We salute them for their courage and sacrifice, and we pray for their safety. We also pray for all those who come in need of their care."

    Many times a simple and sincere “thanks” or a hug goes a long way. There are also small tokens of gratitude that can show your physicians how valuable they are to you. Through the years, the red carnation has been used as the symbol of Doctors' Day, but lately, some creative patients who think outside the box have offered up a better body-conscious idea: Walnuts, which look like the brain and have Omega-3 fatty acids that make people smarter.

    Today, there are more than 1 million medical doctors in the U.S. with 82 percent of adults and 93 percent of children visiting a physician or someone in the medical field in the last year.

    Sadly, physician, as well as all medical field burnout is well recognized. In 2017, the Air Force Medical Corps conducted a formal survey/analysis on physician engagement, barriers to productivity, and work-life balance. The results were concerning: 45 percent did not agree that their leadership thanked them for their hard work and 68 percent didn’t feel that their leadership tried to formally recognize physicians for the excellent work they do.

    Regarding burnout, there are many challenges today’s military medical professionals face, such as dealing with information technology and maintaining electronic health records, or support staff and manning that require significant resources to fix. However, physician recognition is something we can effect now with little cost. Just remember how powerful it is when someone sends a little “thank you” your way.

    With the Air Force Medical Service turning to the TRICARE Online Patient Portal Secure Messaging (formerly known as the Air Force MiCare system), patients today can email a message of gratitude to their physician. You can also go “old school” and hand deliver a card on your next visit, send a red carnation to a retired doctor, or even place a flower on the grave of a deceased physician. The important thing is to let those who care for us know that we appreciate their service.



    Date Taken: 03.30.2018
    Date Posted: 04.09.2018 19:08
    Story ID: 272387
    Location: EL SEGUNDO, CA, US 

    Web Views: 25
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