SAYRE, Okla. — The doctor is in. But he's the only one for miles.
Dr. Kenneth Whinery, an 87-year-old family practitioner, is recovering from a broken back and living with prostate cancer. But he opened his practice here in 1960, and he still sees patients daily.
“I’m the only doctor here through the day,” Whinery said. “If they’re sick, I take care of them. And through the years, all these years, I think I can say that I didn’t turn anybody away that was sick.”
The hospital, five minutes from Whinery's office, shuttered 17 months ago, unable to stay afloat in this town of just over 4,000 people on the western edge of Oklahoma. There's no specialty medical care, and the nearest ambulance is based 25 minutes away. Two-thirds of the residents in the town's two nursing homes rely on Medicaid.
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