Russell Dohner feels that medical care should be affordable to all. That’s why, for the last 55 years, this small-town doctor has charged as little as $2 a visit.
Admittedly, $2 was Dohner’s 1955 price, but the good doctor is still a bargain – he now charges his patients a meagre $5 for a visit to his office in Rushville, a small Illinois town with 4,300 people. During his five-and-a-half decades as a doc in Rushville, he has delivered 3,500 babies, never for more than a few dollars each.
Russell Dohner’s desire to be a doctor came from his experiences as a young boy, when he suffered a terrifying bout of seizures. He told People:
“When I came out of [the seizures], there would always be [our physician] Dr. Hamilton. I decided I wanted to be like him.”
After graduating medical school, Dohner moved to the next county over, hanging a sign outside his surgery that advertised his $2 fee.
Now, he still tends to patients from the same office seven days a week, and uses handwritten records that he files with help from his longtime nurse, 88-year-old Florence Bottorff.
Dohner offers little detailed explanation for his methods, simply stating:
“That’s the way I’ve always done it. There are quite a few people who come to see me because they can’t afford anybody else. I can help.”
Unsurprisingly, this refreshing and humane take on healthcare is gratefully received in Rushville. Resident Mildred Ortiz, who has high blood pressure, says:
“Right now, I’m not working and I don’t have insurance. Dr. Dohner works for his patients, and for love.”