t was only back in 1990 that President George Bush–that would be George Bush Senior–proclaimed March 30 to be National Doctor’s Day. Of course, we’ve been celebrating doctors since at least the 1930s. Officially, at least. National Doctor’s Day is about putting the innovations and contributions of our health care workers front and center, and giving thanks to their sacrifices–some on the battlefield. The U.S. isn’t the only country that recognizes the holiday.

India is another such country where their achievements are held in very high esteem, although their holiday is held in July. The medical successes of a single man in particular–one Bidhan Chandra Roy–are praised. Very well known, Bidhan was a key figure in protecting the medical freedoms that India’s citizens still enjoy. Because the number of doctors in proportion to India’s massive population–over a billion–is so small, there are many who are in dire need of better health care. Many will probably never receive it. Other countries such as Iran, Vietnam, and Cuba also celebrate the achievements of their doctors.

Unfortunately, only health care organizations truly recognize the holiday in the U.S. It is for that reason that we should perhaps take a moment to recognize the lives and histories of some of the most important people in our country’s story, from times of war to times of peace, to help recognize the gift of life they’ve given many of us. For most of us, they’ve given us the hope of a better future. Many communities have countless opportunities to award those have made an impact, and so few do. In any case, the health care system would certainly appreciate a moment of thanks.

Even though we’re constantly warned of poor nutrition and little exercise, the trend of healthier lifestyles is only now growing thanks to support from our doctors. Although many of us are stressed by the idea of stepping on a scale, it’s important to get out there and make a difference in our own lives. Exercise! It’s the only way we can ensure long lives with lots of memories, and being there for our children. Either way, stress is one of the leading causes of many diseases and cancers, and so taking a moment to relax should always be on the agenda after a long day. Why not splurge and purchase a back massager that doubles as a heating pad?

Regardless of how you feel, don’t forget to take a minute to say thank you to the doctors and other health care providers who help us live healthier, happier lives!