Held annually on March 30, National Doctors’ Day provides a special way to honor physicians who promote their communities’ health and well-being through the delivery of quality care. Though it was not designated as an official day of recognition until 1990, it was first observed 84 years ago this month after it was conceived by Eudora Brown Almond, the wife of a physician in Winder, Georgia.
Whether you have yet to make arrangements or are in the midst of finalizing Doctors’ Day plans at your hospital, medical practice, clinic, or health system, read on. The following ideas can help patients, peers, and others within your organization express their gratitude, and the ideas offer something to suit every situation, time frame, and budget.
- Thank physicians who are part of your regular staff and those who work locum tenens, and encourage others to do the same. It may seem like a small gesture, but few words have greater impact than a genuine “thank you.” Bonus: A little gratitude can go a long way in boosting morale and promoting a healthy culture at your organization, too.
- Throw a Doctors’ Day Appreciation Luncheon. Similarly, you could plan a team breakfast or organize a potluck dinner. Include everyone in the festivities; invite nurses, allied health professionals, and other employees to take part and/or contribute. For example, you might ask some staff members to bring in side dishes, baked goods, or healthy snacks.
- Host an awards/recognition ceremony. Get started by printing and framing Certificates of Appreciation for each of your organization’s doctors. Then, designate a time and place for their presentation. You could keep it simple or opt for a formal affair. For instance, some hospitals, practices, and health systems choose to hold elegant events replete with food, music, and speeches acknowledging physicians’ contributions.
- Give doctors a distinctive treat. Depending on your budget, it could be something modest but meaningful, like a red carnation—the symbolic flower of National Doctors’ Day, representing love, charity, sacrifice, bravery, and courage—or a commemorative lapel pin. Conversely, if funds permit, you may choose an extra-special indulgence, such as on-site chair massages from certified massage therapists or car detailing from a reputable, local service. To coordinate the latter, collect physicians’ car keys, so their vehicles can be washed, polished, and vacuumed on-site while they work. Then again, the gift of time—or rather a paid shift or half-day off—could be a possibility. If so, maybe providers could have the option of using the “free pass” at any time, or you could stagger days off to ensure coverage by regular staff or arrange for locum tenens staffing services.
- Invite patients to write “Happy Doctors’ Day” notes to their physicians. You can make it easy for them to do, too. Publicize the opportunity with an eye-catching display that includes colorful cards, suggestions or sample messages, and pens. The display should include a basket or “mailbox” for completed cards, which can be distributed to doctors on March 30.
- Set up a temporary “National Doctors’ Day” area on your website. It can provide physicians’ patients, peers, and friends with another way to express their appreciation and sentiments. You also could include headshots of the clinicians who receive recognition, but should do so only if you have their permission. In addition, be sure to provide a permission form that can be completed online, and only feature the Doctors’ Day wishes of those who have completed it. (Moreover, carefully review all remarks as a quality assurance measure or as part of your approval process prior to posting to ensure comments meet your standards.)
- Produce a “thank-you” video for physicians, featuring members of your staff singing their praises and expressing appreciation. If your organization has a YouTube channel, you could post the video on it, and tell employees that they are welcome to share it on other social networks, too.
- Hold a blood drive to honor physicians. Invite donors at the event to submit a vote for their favorite doctor as a way to express their gratitude. You can highlight all of the clinicians who are honored and even present a trophy, as well as bragging rights, to the physician with the most votes.
- Ensure doctors know that they are valued and supported. Cultivate a transparent environment, use independent contractors to fill staffing gaps that result from open positions and vacations, and hire permanent staff to help manage your critical, long-term needs.
No matter how you choose to celebrate National Doctors’ Day, your physicians will appreciate your thoughtfulness and thanks for their service, as well as your recognition of their valuable role in healthcare.
Learn how Medicus Healthcare Solutions can help you meet your staffing needs by calling 855-301-0563 to speak with one of our knowledgeable business development executives today.