When it comes to affordable health care, no one in America understands the concept quite like Russell Dohner. While medical costs and insurance rates continue to skyrocket and politicians and pundits continue to argue over the Affordable Care Act, a very special physician from a small town has been practicing affordable health care for nearly 60 years! But according to an NBC News article published on Nov. 1, after nearly six decades of practicing medicine, Dr. Dohner has hung up his stethoscope and closed his doors for the very last time.
Dr. Russell Dohner
Considered a local hero by many, the 88-year-old physician from Rushville, IL., has been the town doctor since 1955. He delivered more than 3,500 babies during his career (which is more than the entire population of Rushville) and treated generations of local families. And in all the years he's practiced medicine, he never took a vacation. He still made rounds at the local hospital and made house calls, too!
And if that weren't amazing enough, Dr. Dohner charged his patients $5 per visit. Yep, you read the right. He charged $5 since the fee was increased from $2 back in the 70s! You can imagine at $5 a visit, he was a pretty busy guy. In fact, patients lined up early to see him. With no appointments, it was strictly first come, first serve. And the fees weren't the only thing that stayed the same over the years. The office looked pretty much the same - wood paneling and all! With no computers, records were handwritten. You know - by hand!
Dr. Dohner didn't practice medicine for the money. He was there to take care of people. A life-sized bronze statue of Dohner was recently erected on the Rushville town square. The humble doctor was recently inducted into the Senior Hall of Fame at the Illinois Governor's mansion.
The end of an era has come. Please wish Dr. Dohner a happy and healthy retirement on his Facebook page.