For the poor and financially challenged residents of a small town in Mississippi, Dr. Carrol Landrum is a lifesaver.
The 88-year old doctor has begun a medical practice that allows him to give his services to people from the farthest areas. In a place where a trip to the hospital and transportation could lead to a lifetime of debts, his service is considered “heaven-sent.”
Dr. Landrum is not just any type of doctor. He is a travelling physician. Everyday, he holds his clinic at his 2007 Toyota Camry parked at the side of any quiet road.
Most of the times, his patients come to him. Other times, he meets them.
“I grew up poor, and when the doctor would come to us, he was happy to see us, I pictured myself doing that someday. I try not to ever turn people away – money or no money – because that’s where the need is,” he shared.
It was not always that way.
According to Dr. Landrum, he started his mobile clinic two years ago. It was that time when his clinic, which was located at a low-income housing property, became a hotspot for gangs. The rampant gang violence became a challenge for him and his patients.
His patients that time begged him not to leave. So he didn’t and turned to his car.
The World War II veteran did not leave the community because he saw the need. In his more than 55 years of private practice, Dr. Landrum has taken to heart that it is his duty to help out anyone who asks him for it.
In his car, he talks to his patients, check them, writes prescriptions and anything else he can do to help. Sometimes, if he can’t, he refers the patients to other doctors who can.
But while Dr. Landrum’s heart is in the right place, he may have to stop soon.
The Mississippi State Board of Medical License has asked him to give up his license when they discovered he was holding clinic at his car.
When his patients found out, they have started an online petition to the Board not to revoke his license.
Karen Holt, a resident of Edwards said, “There’s a lot of poverty in Edwards. There are many, many people here who do not have transportation to Vicksburg, Clinton, Jackson and he truly serves a purpose.”
She added, “And there are people who come to him who would not get medical treatment otherwise.”
When asked what his inspiration was to continue with his practice, he named the doctor who took care of his family when he was growing up – Dr. Coursey.
For him, the good doctor was the best inspiration because he “never treated anyone like they were not someone.”