May 19th

World Family Doctor Day -

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The 19th of May every year is a significant day globally, as it is designated as World Family Doctor Day. This day has been set aside to shine a spotlight on the integral role that family doctors play in the health sector across the world. Established by the World Organization of Family Doctors, each observance of the day is characterized by a unique theme that underscores various aspects of family medicine.

World Family Doctor Day serves to bring to the forefront the crucial work of family doctors in the early diagnosis, treatment, and management of diverse health conditions. Activities and celebrations on this day simultaneously aim at raising public awareness of the value and impact of family doctors towards the improvement of health, within individuals, families, and wider communities.

History of World Family Doctor Day

World Family Doctor Day, also known as World Family Physician Day, is an international event inaugurated by the World Organization of Family Doctors, also known as WONCA. The event first took place on the 19th of May 2010 and has been celebrated annually on this day ever since.

The central objective of this day is to emphasize the integral role and contributions of family doctors within global healthcare systems. This day celebrates how these doctors provide all-encompassing, continuous care, regardless of age, gender, ailment or body part. They mainly focus on community health, disease prevention and health enhancement activities.

Every year, WONCA encourages its affiliated organizations to commemorate this special day by conducting a variety of events and initiatives for creating awareness about the importance of the family medicine domain.

WONCA collaborates with its members, health policymakers, and the general public to underscore the roles and services of family practitioners, advocate for primary healthcare, enhance health outcomes and contribute to the universal healthcare goals globally. The efforts made on this particular day frequently lead to a broader acknowledgment of the family medical field and provide family doctors a unique opportunity to celebrate their professional unity and pride.

World Family Doctor Day Timeline

Hippocrates: The Father of Medicine

Hippocrates of Cos, was a Greek physician who is often referred to as the 'Father of Medicine'.

First Medical School in America

The medical school at the University of Pennsylvania is established, paving the way for more widespread, formal training for doctors in the U.S.

American Academy of Family Physicians

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is founded as an organization for family doctors.

Family Medicine Recognized as Specialty

Family medicine is recognized for the first time as a distinct specialty requiring its own unique training and board certification process.

World Organization of Family Doctors Founded

The World Organization of Family Doctors is a not-for-profit organization, founded by member organizations in 18 countries.

Establishment of World Family Doctor Day

The World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) initiated the first World Family Doctor Day.

Ideas to Celebrate World Family Doctor Day

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Organize a Health Fair

Invite several family doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers into your community to provide basic health services and education. This could include blood pressure checks, assessment of the health status, healthcare talks, and more. This not only shows appreciation for family doctors but also raises health awareness among the community.

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Hold a Doctor Appreciation Day

Organize an appreciation day where family doctors in your community are honoured for their dedication and hard work. This could involve presenting certificates of appreciation or other awards, organizing a luncheon in their honour, or holding a gathering where community members share their positive experiences with their doctors.

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Social Media Recognition

Use social media platforms to recognize the contributions of family doctors. Post photos, share stories, or use a specific hashtag to spread awareness. Encourage others to do the same to help spread the word about the invaluable services provided by family doctors.

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Community Health Walk

Organize a community health walk, marathon, or fun run to acknowledge the work of family doctors and simultaneously promote a physically active lifestyle. Each participant can make a small donation that can go towards healthcare initiatives in the community.

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Educational Seminars

Invite a family doctor or medical professional to conduct an educational seminar or workshop on common health issues. This both honours the expertise of the family doctor and also provides invaluable knowledge to community members.

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Create a Tribute Video

Film a tribute video where you and other patients express your gratitude for family doctors. Share stories of times they've provided care and support. This is a great way to personally show appreciation and spread positivity.

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Interview a Family Doctor

Interview a family doctor in your community about their work, challenges faced, and the joys experienced in their profession. Post it on your social media platforms or community bulletin to give people a glimpse of their work and dedication.

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Send Personalized Gifts

Send handwritten thank you cards or other personalized gifts to your family doctor. This could include gift baskets filled with healthy snacks, personalized medical equipment like stethoscopes or even a custom mug.

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Organize a Fundraising Event

Hold a charity event like a bake sale, car wash, or auction and donate the proceeds to a local clinic or hospital. This will demonstrate gratitude and support for your local family doctors and the important work they do.

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Pen an Article or Blog

Write articles or blog posts highlighting why family doctors are important and the role they play in maintaining community health. This can be published in local newspapers or shared on personal blogs or social media platforms.

8 Interesting Facts About Family Doctors


Truly Versatile

Family doctors, also known as general practitioners, are trained to handle all kinds of health problems. They treat a wide variety of conditions across all ages, genders, and parts of the body. Their extensive training makes them experts in a huge array of health issues.


They Know Your History

Family doctors have the benefit of understanding your health history and the patterns of illness in your family. They use this information to make accurate diagnoses and provide comprehensive care plans.


Quantity Over Quality

Contrary to popular belief, family doctors often spend more time in the hospital than other specialties. They can see and treat many patients in a day, making them an essential part of the healthcare system.


They Can Do It All

Besides providing medical treatment, family doctors also perform minor surgical procedures, deliver babies, and provide preventative care like immunizations and screenings.


Long-term Relationships

Family doctors often form lifelong relationships with their patients. Because they treat individuals across all ages and stages of life, they may provide care for the same individual from birth to old age.


Continuous Care

A family doctor provides continuous care, unlike a specialist who only steps in when a specific issue arises. They will follow up and manage their patient's health over time.


They Play Multiple Roles

Family doctors also offer counseling on lifestyle changes. They are educators, advocates, and advisors, in addition to being medical providers.


Not Just a Referral Source

While family doctors often refer patients to specialists when necessary, they provide much more than just referrals. They act as a steward of their patient's overall health, helping to coordinate their care and ensure they receive the most beneficial treatments.

World Family Doctor Day FAQs

Next World Family Doctor Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 May 19th Friday
2024 May 19th Sunday
2025 May 19th Monday
2026 May 19th Tuesday
2027 May 19th Wednesday
What is the pattern? Every May 19th

World Family Doctor Day Word Search

  • Family
  • Doctor
  • Medicine
  • Physician
  • Diagnosis
  • Practice