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Today is National Doctors Day, an observance established in 1933, affirmed by resolution in the House of Representatives in 1958, and established by federal legislation in 1990. The day is observed by mailing greeting cards to doctors and decorating with red carnations the graves of physicians who have died. Jews, who are currently about 2.5 percent of the U.S. population, made up 60 percent of the medical school application pool in 1934 and only 9 percent in 1988. Currently, about 14 percent of American physicians are Jewish. Today is also the birthday of one of the most famous Jewish physicians in history, Moses ben Maimon (Maimonides), born in Cordoba, Spain in 1135. (See our Jewdayo entry for December 13th, his yortsayt)
Lawrence Bush edited Jewish Currents from 2003 until 2018. He is the author of Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution and Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist, among other books. His new volume of illustrated Torah commentaries, American Torah Toons 2, is scheduled for publication this year.