The Institute Blog

A Note of Gratitude on National Physicians Day

March 30, 2016

A Note of Gratitude on National Physicians Day

Dr. Robert Schiller is the Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at the Institute.  


“We don’t heal in isolation, but in community.”- S. Kelly Harrell

Today is National Physician Appreciation Day.  Many of us may feel conflicted about our society’s assigning days to express gratitude for a specific person, profession or object.  Just Google “appreciation day” and you’ll get the idea.  August 12 is Middle Child Appreciation Day!  Seriously?  However, taking a moment to reflect on the value people and their contributions make in our lives is always worthwhile.

Our gratitude is directed to all our health care providers, not just our doctors, but nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and the nurses and others who support our teams. Like gender roles, the role of the health care provider is evolving. Recognition should bring people together.

That said, we acknowledge that being a doctor today is a real challenge. It’s hard to determine if our jobs are harder than our predecessors. But there is no question that the work takes its toll, and recognition and respect are often hard to come by. It seems rare to receive an expression of gratitude from a patient, family member, or a colleague.

Yet we now work more consciously in teams, and individual or profession specific recognition seems misplaced. So this day of appreciation is perhaps best described a National Health Care Team Appreciation Day, which of course would include all of our co-workers. Working at the Institute means taking on additional challenges of overcoming health disparities, addressing social determinants of health, training the next generation of health care professionals, advancing our knowledge of health care delivery with research, and influencing health policy. All of this work can only be accomplished with the daily commitment of our health care teams and providers in caring for our patients.

In recognition of National Physicians Day, let’s acknowledge the role of physicians in our organization as well as the support each receives from their team. Let’s appreciate the work we do, and continue to make a difference together.