Monday Medical: Doctor’s Day celebrates physicians’ contributions
When you walk into a grocery store or go to an event in Steamboat Springs, you see many people. Some you know, some you don’t. When doctors do the same, the people they see aren’t just people – they’re also patients.
Thank a doctor
Submit your thanks via email to email@example.com, or post your thanks on Yampa Valley Medical Center’s Facebook page. All messages will be shared with the doctors.
“The patients we see in our offices aren’t simply people with ailments who need medical care,” said Dr. Brian Harrington, a family medicine physician in Steamboat. “They’re the people who live down the street, whose children we watch on the ball fields, who we read about in the newspaper. It gives you more of a holistic view of the person, because you know more about them instead of only why they need care that day.”
Medical care in Steamboat dates back to 1914 with the opening of the first hospital. Almost 103 years later, health care continues in the Yampa Valley, thanks to the dedicated medical providers who provide care. On Thursday, March 30, Doctors’ Day celebrates the contributions of physicians who serve our country by caring for its’ citizens.
History of Doctors’ Day
Doctors’ Day was first observed in 1933. when the wife of a physician decided to set aside a day to honor physicians. The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate each passed legislation through the years, and in 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed a joint resolution designating March 30 as National Doctors’ Day.
Historically, cards were sent to physicians and flowers placed on the graves of deceased doctors. A red carnation was chosen as the symbolic flower of Doctors’ Day, representing the qualities of love, charity, sacrifice, bravery and courage — qualities that can also be found in the doctors who practice medicine in Steamboat.
Medicine in the mountains
When Harrington moved to Steamboat, he presumed he would leave behind some of the advanced care and practices he was accustomed to at a tertiary care center. What he found was the opposite.
“Doctors aren’t unlike others in wanting to live in a desirable place, and Steamboat Springs is certainly desirable,” he said. “We all want to be part of something great, and you can see that in the local medical community. We have a hospital here that is well above what you’d find in rural towns similar to our size. Doctors are able to practice in a place with high ideals. People are excited to come to a place that has an excellent community.
“I value being with health care providers in this community who have committed their lives to the profession of health care. Their investments of time and effort to gain knowledge and experience to help patients and our community maximize their health are quite admirable.”
Future of health care
As health care delivery and technology continues to change and advance, a new emphasis on systems of care and population health have emerged. Fortunately for the residents of Northwest Colorado, Harrington and other local physicians are ready and excited for the next wave of health care.
“A lot of what we’re doing in medicine today promotes people living longer and living a better quality of life,” said Harrington. “We’re better recognizing the world of wellness and preventative health. I’m excited those things are getting more attention and more value placed on them.”
Harrington acknowledged Steamboat has many resources, tools and professionals to be able to adapt to the changing landscape of health care and is excited for what the future holds.
“The ongoing activities to bring in additional resources and partners to our community and region to further enhance our stature as a medical community and hub for medical care is exciting,” he said. “It will allow us, as providers, to keep the health of our community and the provision of health care in our community at the forefront of what we do.”
And for that, doctors, we thank you.
Lindsey Reznicek is an outreach specialist at Yampa Valley Medical Center.
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