On Oct. 30, 1990, President George Bush signed a resolution designating March 30 as National Doctor’s Day. Since the days of the Hippocratic Oath, the physician has been held in high esteem as healer, trusted confidant and patient advocate. Technological breakthroughs have done much to advance the science of medicine; however, the patient-physician relationship remains the fundamental tenet of medicine. The American Medical Association states that “medicine is a special kind of human activity—one that cannot be pursued effectively without the traits of humility, honesty, intellectual integrity, compassion and effacement of excessive self-interest. These traits bind physicians to a moral community dedicated to something other than self-interest.”
Our local physicians have indeed dedicated themselves as a moral community to the people of Buncombe County. In 2008 alone, Buncombe County Medical Society’s Project Access and its 650-plus physicians donated over $14 million in free health-care services to low-income, uninsured residents of our county. As one of our physicians remarked, “As a community, if any part of our community suffers, we all suffer. All of us at some time will need a helping hand. We all have an inherent social responsibility to serve the larger community good.”
One of the residents who received free health care told us, “When you help one person in need, you open the door for that person to be filled with gratitude and driven to find a way to give back, over and over again. The physicians ‘pay it forward,’ and the result is a better life and community for all of us.”
Every day, your personal physician works hard to ensure that what is right for you as a patient will drive our state and national health policy in a direction that not only manages care, but also manages care ethically. Your physician not only wants to help you live a healthy life, s/he wants health policy that is designed with your best interest in mind.
March 30, National Doctor’s Day, is a day set aside to show appreciation for the role of America’s physicians as advocates for the well-being of patients, for the health of our community and for the profession of medicine. Please join the Buncombe County Medical Society (www.bcmsonline.org) in recognizing the physicians in our community who dedicate their lives to the health and well-being of their patients. Please take a moment to tell the doctors in your life “thank you” for being your best health-care advocates.
— Miriam Schwarz
CEO, Buncombe County Medical Society.