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Online exclusive
May 9, 2024
Jessica Smith
OMA staff writer

Photo essay: Doctors’ Day is our way of saying thank you

Flags were raised and landmarks and monuments lit blue across the province to acknowledge Ontario’s doctors

Your commitment, expertise and hard work were celebrated across the province during Doctors’ Day this year.

Ontario officially recognized May 1 as Doctors’ Day in 2011 to coincide with the birthday of Dr. Emily Stowe, the first female physician to publicly practice in Canada and an Ontarian.

Landmarks across the province lit up blue and flags were raised as part of our fifth-annual Doctors’ Day campaign, which also featured tributes on social media, as well as news coverage. As well, many of you met with politicians as part of Doctors’ Day to discuss the critical state of our health-care system.

“I’m incredibly proud of my physician colleagues,” said OMA Immediate Past President Dr. Andrew Park. “Every day, Ontario’s doctors treat and care for more than 340,000 patients. Today we honour them for their service and commitment.”

Dr. Park joined OMA President Dr. Dominik Nowak and Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow at Mount Sinai Hospital to thank physicians everywhere for their dedication to the field.


"I’m incredibly proud of my physician colleagues.  Every day, Ontario’s doctors treat and care for more than 340,000 patients. Today we honour them for their service and commitment"    
— Dr. Andrew Park

Thirteen landmarks lit up blue in recognition and celebration of the important role physicians play in our society: the CN Tower, Niagara Falls, the Sanderson Centre and Harmony Square in Brantford, Lincoln City Hall, Brampton Clock Tower, Burlington Pier, Windsor City Hall, Port Colborne City Hall, Hamilton Sign, Guelph Market Square, Sudbury’s Big Nickel, London City Hall and the Ronald A. Irwin sign in Sault Ste. Marie.

Nine flags were raised in Ontario, in Toronto, London, Kingston, Mississauga, Barrie, Lincoln, Niagara Region, Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury.

Six proclamations were made throughout the province in support of Doctors’ Day. And Premier Doug Ford, Health Minister Sylvia Jones, Liberal Leader Bonnie Crombie, NDP Leader Marit Stiles and Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner recorded videos thanking all of you. 

Physician leaders discussed the urgent need for action to ensure our health-care system remains sustainable, including District 6 chair Dr. Beth Perrier – who spoke to the Peterborough Times about the challenges facing family doctors – and Dr. Alykhan Abdulla, a Manotick-based family physician – who wrote an op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen about the improvements needed in our health-care system.