Dear medical colleagues of our great American continent:

Yesterday, December 3rd, we celebrated the “Day of the physician” in the Americas in honor of all the dedicated and hard-working professionals tending to the health care needs of people from Alaska in the extreme North to Ushuaia in the extreme South.

The “Panamerican Health Organization”, or “Organizacion Panamericana de la Salud” in Spanish, designated this day in honor of Carlos Juan Finlay Barres, a Cuban physician and researcher who had discovered in 1881 that the Yellow Fever was transmitted through an insect vector like Aedes aegypti; he was born on December 3, 1833 in Puerto Principe, Cuba, and studied Medicine at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.

Dr. Finlay, dubbed as “the mosquito doctor” by his detractors, had a hard time to prove his hypothesis but he finally collected enough clinical data to submit to the “Yellow Fever panel” headed by Dr. Walter Reed that finally accepted his findings in 1901. That medical breakthrough prodded the Panama Canal authorities to set up the proper sanitary conditions in the workers’ camps in order to finish the humonguous project. In 1902 Dr. Finlay headed the precursor office of the present day PHO.  Dr. Remo Bergoglio, an Argentine physician acting on behalf of the “Sociedad Medica de Cordoba”, submitted a proposal to celebrate this day on the floor of the PHO congress in Dallas in 1953.

To my dear colleagues of the Americas, thank you for your devoted daily work. Cheers!

A mes collègues de l’Amérique, felicitations pour votre travail dévouée de tous les jours. Salut!

A mis queridos colegas de las Americas, gracias por su trabajo abnegado de todos los días. Salud!

9 thoughts on “Happy “Day of the Physician”

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