RUSHVILLE, Illinois (CNN/KSDK) -- Visiting Rushville, Illinois is like taking a trip back in time. Residents of the town north of Springfield know there is one person they can always count on.
There are no u-turns on the road to Rushville, Illinois. But you can turn back the clock. One-hundred and twenty miles and decibels from St. Louis, this Mayberry of the Midwest appears to be from a simpler time. But in this century or the last, one thing has always been certain. The doctor is in.
Russell Dohner has been the town doctor since 1955, long past the age when most people are seeing their retirement benefits. Doc Dohner is still seeing patients. And just like its always been, the office is open seven days a week. Dohner says, "Even on Sunday, I felt like there was always somebody who would be sick. So before I'd go to church, I'd come here."
When he began his practice, calls were taken on a rotary phone and patient records were kept on index cards. And they still are. There are no appointments. No matter your ailment, it's first come, first served. Dohner says, "I don't always do it myself but I can refer them to somebody who can do it."
A graduate of Northwestern University Medical School, he came back home to follow in the footsteps of the doctor who took care of him when he was once ill as a child. Dohner says, "And when I'd come to, Dr. Hamilton was there. And I decided as a boy, I'm going to be like Dr. Hamilton."
Through the years, Doc Dohner has mended all sorts of pains and sprains and he's delivered more babies than the population of Rushville. And among the 3,500 or so is Lynn Stambaugh. She says, "There's four in my family and he delivered all four of us."
Stambaugh is now the CEO of Culbertson Regional Hospital where Doc begins and ends every day unless he's making a house call. Stambaugh says, "My older sister had seizures and mom said after she'd have him she would kind of be out of it. He would come and sit at her crib all night."
Garry Moreland says, "He doesn't set the standard for technology but he doesn't need a pager because we know where he is."
Moreland runs the Moreland/Devitt Pharmacy just up the block from Doc's office. Moreland says, "He's seen it all 5 times. He's seen so many patients and he just through experience can recognize and diagnose."
Like all physicians, Doc has to complete additional training every few years to keep up with changes, but his nurses never change, nor the furniture, nor the price of a visit. He still only charges $5. That's not a co-pay, that's the price! Dohner says, "You know frankly I've never spent much money for going on trips or stuff like that."
No one is Rushville can remember the last time Dr. Dohner took a vacation and with good reason. In 57 years of practice, he's never taken one. He says, "I'd like to go out and see the mountains in Colorado. Wouldn't that be nice?"
In the town square, there are plaques to honor those who served our country. Doc wore the uniform in World War II but it's his service to his community that engraved his name into the heart of Rushville.
But don't mention hero to Doc Dohner, he has no time for it. He's got too many patients to see as he continues to make the past very much a present. He says, "I guess I don't know what I'd be doing if I wasn't doctoring."