Today is a day to honor our doctors for their dedication and hard work in helping to cure disease and improve the health and well-being of our citizens. National Doctors’ Day marks the date that Crawford W. Long, MD administered the first ether anesthetic on March 30, 1842 to allow surgical removal of a neck tumor. Doctors Day was first observed in Winder, GA on March 30, 1933 and in 1991 the U.S. Congress officially declared March 30 as Doctors’ Day in the U.S.
As a pain physician, I note that this day is marked by an event important to both Anesthesiologists and Pain Medicine physicians. Without that first successful administration of ether anesthesia, the only way to have performed that surgery would have been unbelievably painful. This event opened the doors to the modern surgical approaches and the search for safe and effective treatment for pain.
I want to particularly recognize those docs who have dedicated their lives to helping to reduce pain and improve quality of life in those suffering from chronic pain. We have made much progress. However, we have much hard work remaining to achieve our goal of a revolution in the way we assess, treat and manage those with pain. Working together we can make that goal a reality. Happy National Doctors’ Day!