Beloved ‘$5 Doctor’ passes away at age 90


Dr. Russell Dohner. (Source: Jim Krasula, Twitter)

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RUSHVILLE, IL (KTVI) – A small-town doctor in western Illinois who drew national acclaim for charging only $5 per visit died in his sleep early Friday morning.

Dr. Russell Dohner was 90.

The doctor was born in Fulton County in 1925. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and attended Western Illinois State College later Northwestern Medical School on the GI Bill.

Dohner opened his practice in Rushville, Illinois in 1955. He would practice medicine for nearly 60 years.

When he first began treating patients, Dohner charged $2 per visit, but raised his prices to $5 in the 1970s.

Over the many decades, Dr. Dohner made house calls and would see patients seven days a week, sometimes for free if they were in dire need and could not afford the $5 fee.

Dohner was the subject of a profile on NBC Nightly News in 2012. According to a report in the Journal-Courier, Dohner was also featured in People magazine and other publications. reports the family requests a memorial to be sent to one of the following charities: CMH Foundation, Rushville First United Methodist Church, Rushville Parks, Do Something, Inc., Vermont, IL, Vermont Parks and Cemetery, Astoria Parks and Cemetery, WIU Foundation or donor’s choice.


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