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Dr. Karen Kinsell is the only doctor in all of Clay County, Georgia, one of the poorest and unhealthiest rural regions in the state. Her clinic has served the most vulnerable in her community for over 22 years, but now faces bankruptcy. Despite not drawing a personal salary to help keep the doors open, Kinsell must now weigh retiring against providing healthcare to her patients. When a Hail Mary offer arrives from a university medical association, a fully equipped health centre is proposed. But Kinsell makes affordability and access her personal red lines of the potential sale. An impending state election and the outbreak of COVID add more uncertainty to the fraught population, reminding Kinsell of how much is riding on the fine print. Straight-talking and downright inspirational, The Only Doctor presents a modern David-versus-Goliath healthcare story that might just restore your faith in humanity.


Clay County is located in southwest Georgia, along the Alabama border. As of the 2020 census, the population was 2,848, making it the fourth-least populous county in Georgia.

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The county's only hospital closed in 1983. It's also one of the unhealthiest counties in Georgia, with the second highest poverty rate (41.4%), the third highest unemployment rate (6.1%), the highest rate of uninsured adults (39.4%). Plus, the most recent health rankings by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation put Clay 156th out of the state’s 159 counties with higher rates of smoking, obesity, teen births, premature deaths, physical inactivity, low birthweight and poor mental or physical health. There is no dentist, pediatrician or high school, and there isn’t another hospital within a 20-mile radius. 

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Dr. Karen S. Kinsell is a family medicine doctor and the only practicing medical professional located in

Clay County, Georgia. 

A graduate of Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons,

Dr. Karen Kinsell has served the Clay County area for 22 years. Now 66 and considering retirement, she seeks a solution to preserve healthcare for her poor, rural community.

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