History of National Doctors' Day
‘Doctors are pivotal to the health of the society, saying thank you is but a small gesture.’
Honor a physician with the honor due unto him for the uses which ye may have of him: for the Lord hath created him. - Ecclesiasticus 38:1
Roy is a legendary doctor who attained a lot of fame for his sincere passion
towards serving the society. He was the son of a deputy collector and was born
Calcutta Medical College but during his second year in college, his father
retired which forced him to lead a very frugal life. This period in his life
saw him struggle through college, saving money wherever he could by learning
from library books rather than buying copies of his own.
At the Time
of Partition of Bengal
During his period
of study, there was a lot of contention about partitioning Bengal with Lal
Lajpat Rai, Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal delivering speeches to inspire the
youth However, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy persisted with his academics believing in
earnest that studying would let him serve his country better.
Chandra Pal joined the Provincial Health Services soon after he graduated and
earned admiration from people around with the hard-work that he put into saving
the life of patients.
This phase in
his life also showed his commitment to improving the health of people as he
practiced privately in the evening, charging a very small fee of Rs 8.
His thirst for
knowledge led Dr. Bidhan to apply to Dr. Barthelomew's hospital to pursue
higher studies. However, the dean of the hospital rejected his application.
Another inspiring nature displayed by Dr. Bidhan was that he persisted with his
application, applying 30 times till the Dean finally relented and accepted him.
Within a short
span of two and a half years, Dr. Bidhan Chandra completed M.R.C.P and F.R.C.S
and returned to India soon after.
and beliefs of Dr. Bidhan Chandra that inspired a generation and continue to do
- Dr. Bidhan believed that people
should be physically strong and healthy if they have to be effective in
the fight for Independence.
- He established numerous
institutions that included Nehru hospital, Chittaranjan Cancer Hospital,
- He actively encouraged the entry
of women into the field of health sciences by starting an institution that
trained women to work as nurses and to carry out social work.
- He built air shelters for college
and school students to study during Japanese attack on Rangoon. He was
conferred the Doctorate degree to commemorate his efforts during this
- He spoke strongly against strikes
or any other method of disrupting studies.
Gandhiji was Dr.
Bidhan Chandra's patient and the doctor was responsible for convincing Gandhiji
to eat a 'foreign medicine' when he fell ill during the Quit India Movement.
Minister of West Bengal
Chandra was the second Chief Minister of West Bengal, he stayed away from
conflicts and controversies. The doctor brought in unity within the state,
which had just faced partition, restoring law and order within a span of 3
His famous lines
at that time were 'We have the ability and if, with faith in our future, we
exert ourselves with determination, nothing, I am sure, no obstacles, however
formidable or insurmountable they may appear at present, can stop our
progress... (if) all work unitedly, keeping our vision clear and with a firm
grasp of our problems."
continued to treat patients till the last day, his one true calling that he
devoted his life to.
The life of Dr.
Bidhan Chandra and many doctors who similarly share the spirit to heal people
and improve health of society at large, need to be honored for their relentless
effort. A doctor's life isn't easy and is riddled with obstacles that they make
light of in order to work towards a healthier society.
- Doctors have irregular timings, leaving them completely committed to their work and giving them very little time of their own or for their family. There have been reports of doctor's attending to patients even during difficult times like an earthquake.
- People list BPO employees as shift workers, unmindful of the many doctors who stay up all night often to treat patients.
- Poor dietary habits as surgeries and constant monitoring of ailing patients leave very little time for a relaxed meal on many days.
- A heightened risk of infection, which was noticed even recently during the EBOLA outbreak, resulted in many doctors falling ill themselves.
will treat doctors?" is a resounding statement that evokes strong emotions from
society at large. In honor of the benevolent nature of their profession, the
celebration of the National Doctor's Day with enthusiasm and spirit is a
befitting response. Let us thank every doctor we know for another year of
treating people and getting everybody back on their healthy feet.