Monday was Doctors' Day in Ontario. To mark the occasion, Coun. Ralph Cipolla joined local family physician Dr. Sandra Tigchelaar to raise a flag in front of the Orillia Opera House.
It was one of thousands of such flag raisings on social media, billboards and city halls around the province to show an appreciation for physicians, noted a media release from the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), which represents the province’s 43,000 doctors.
The theme this year is to thank doctors for their expertise and dedication to patient care.
Thousands of people went to doctorsday.ca and picked flags with messages ranging from “thanks for listening to my concerns” to “thanks for always being there” and “thanks for saving my life.”
Those digital flags were posted on social media and today shown on billboards in 29 communities. Real flags were raised on flagpoles in 19 communities across the province — including Orillia — and many during ceremonies attended by physicians and local government leaders.
Landmarks around Ontario will light up in blue today in honour of Doctors’ Day, including Niagara Falls, the CN Tower and many city halls.
May 1 was recognized by the provincial government in 2011 as the official day of appreciation for Ontario’s doctors. The date was chosen to mark the birthday of Canada's first female physician, Dr. Emily Stowe.
“I’m incredibly proud of my physician colleagues who have a deep conviction to care for their patients,” said OMA President Dr. Rose Zacharias, a long-time Orillia family doctor.
“Every day, Ontario’s doctors treat and care for more than 340,000 patients. For more than three years they have been on the front lines of the pandemic, helping to keep their patients and their communities safe, and today we honour them for their service and commitment," said Zacharias.