Maybe it was a sick child or an aging parent needing specialized treatment, or maybe you were the one in need of medical help. In any of these moments, there was most likely a special doctor who went above and beyond and brought you comfort in a stressful time. March 30th is National Doctors’ Day, a day to reflect on the everyday heroes who sacrifice so much and inspire us with their strength and compassion.

Doctors Are Tireless in Their Service

There is no typical day for a doctor. Depending on their specialty, whether they work in a hospital or private setting, what’s required can vary dramatically. ER doctors can often work 24+ hour shifts, while doctors in private practice may work hours that accommodate patients seeing them before, after or during normal working hours.

Regardless, the fact remains that doctors put in some of the longest hours on average of any professionals. More than half of doctors report working 50+ hours a week, and 80% say they feel overextended on any given day. It’s no wonder given that doctors see an average of 13 patients a day, coupled with the paperwork and follow up required from seeing these patients.

Also, becoming a physician is no walk in the park. It takes 40,000 hours of dedicated training to become a doctor, which balances out to about 14 years of post-secondary schooling.

A Doctor’s Work Is Invaluable

There are very few people who have the tremendous skill set that ranges from knowing how to stitch up a forehead laceration to performing open heart surgery. Even just having a primary care physician reduces a patient’s number of surgeries and ER visits and cuts healthcare costs by a third. The work doctors do is invaluable and professional knowledge is only a starting point. The best doctors are also superb communicators and show compassion to even the most difficult of patients, to mention just a few traits.

And, at the end of the day, doctors do what they do because they enjoy helping people and making a real difference in their patient’s lives. Three out of four physicians say that they entered the field of medicine to help people and 80% say they choose the field because of personal experiences with medical care either as a patient, family member or volunteer.

Doctors are the reason why people can live comfortably into their 80s and 90s. They help us bring new lives into the world and ensure that we are healthy and can enjoy the lives we have. So, in honor of National Doctors’ Day take a moment out of your day to say thank you to a doctor who changes the world for the better a little each day.

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