National Doctor's Day: Date, History, Significance, Importance

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jul 13, 2023, 12:26

When it comes to unforeseen medical contingencies or situations, doctors are always at the frontlines for the general public. This is especially true in the case of diseases such as COVID-19, influenza, AIDS, and Ebola.

Doctors don't fight at the border but work devotedly to save lives and improve life expectancy. Their contribution to human health exceeds all expectations. Thus, National Doctor's Day is celebrated in India on 1st July every year. 

National Doctor's Day: History and Background

National Doctor's Day was first celebrated on 1st July 1991, in honour of Dr Bidan Chandra Roy, acknowledging his contributions to healthcare. This day happens to be his death and birth anniversary.

Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy was a well-known doctor, educator, liberty warrior, social worker, and politician. He also served as Chief Minister in West Bengal for 14 years (1948-1962). On 4th February 1961, he was awarded the highest civilian honour in India, the Bharat Ratna. 

He was also the attending physician of Mahatma Gandhi. The B.C. Roy National Award was established in 1976 in his memory to recognize outstanding figures in medicine, science, public affairs, philosophy, art, and literature.

The Importance of National Doctor's Day

National Doctors Day is observed in India to respect and recognize the importance of the role of doctors in society. On this special occasion, we should all be proud to have talented medical professionals dedicated to the health and well-being of the country.

We should be grateful for their efforts and contributions to emergency care. We all need to recognize and acknowledge the efforts of doctors who were there for the general public to overcome emergency medical and pandemic situations.

National Doctor's Day 2021

Every year, the theme of National Doctor's Day is announced by the Indian Medical Association. The theme for 2021 was "Save The Saviours". On this day, people paid tribute to the spirit and commitment of doctors' unremitting efforts in times of crisis.

Doctor's Day 2022 theme has not been announced yet. 

National Doctor's Day: Celebrations

National Doctor's Day has been observed for several years by government and non-governmental health agencies to recognize the contributions of doctors. On this day, the health agency staff organizes several events and activities.

The Rotary Club of Northern Calcutta and the Northeastern Calcutta Social Welfare Organization hold major events each year. Health centres organize free health check camps in various public places to provide quality medical services.

Regular medical care by doctors is also promoted. Various discussion programs are organized nationwide to inform people about health checks, prevention, diagnosis, and appropriate treatment of illness. Specifically, general screening test camps are organized to assess the health of the poor and the elderly, provide health counselling, and promote healthy eating discussions and awareness of chronic illnesses. 

Several activities are also organized at the school and university levels to encourage young people to choose and practice medicine as a profession.

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FAQs about Doctor's Day

Why is National Doctor's Day celebrated on 1st July?

National Doctor's Day is celebrated in honour of the legendary doctor and the second Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy. 

When was the first National Doctors Day celebrated?

In 1991, the central government first celebrated National Doctor's Day in honour of Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy.

How is Doctor's Day celebrated in other countries?

The United States commemorates 30th March as National Doctor's Day, while Iran celebrates it on 23rd August.

In Brazil, National Doctor's Day is celebrated as a national holiday on 18th October, the day the Catholic Church celebrates St. Luke's birthday.

In Cuba, National Doctor's Day is celebrated as a national holiday on 3rd 3rd December to commemorate Carlos Juan Finlay's birthday.