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Fred Kiehl, 44, has been DeKalb County’s community physician since he left medical school in 1978. While he does not make house calls, he has plenty of obligations to the local communities besides staffing his office in Maysville, the county seat.
Kiehl examines Don Castle as his wife, Frances, watches and listens. She has been taking care of her ailing husband for the past nine years, knows the medical vocabulary well, and is an expert at keeping track of the various medicines he takes.
Kiehl searches for a metal particle that lodged in Sam Bennett’s eye while he was grinding metal at work. Terry Whisler, a Medical Office Assistant, assists. Bennett was able to come in on short notice. “He’s always busy, too busy, but he makes time to fit you in,” he says of Kiehl.
Robert Earhart visited the Maysville Clinic with a swollen arm, thinking he might have picked up a splinter at a local lumber yard the previous week. Careful probing, painful despite a local anesthetic, failed to reveal the cause of the swelling, so Kiehl referred him to a specialist.
Kiehl chats with Bob Findley, president of the Stewartsville branch of Merchantile Bank, while waiting for his regular lunch of a chef’s salad at Sissy’s Cafe. Sissy’s is next to the Stewartsville Medical Clinic, operated by the Cameron Community Hospital and staffed by Kiehl on Tuesdays.
Registered nurse Paul Murray, left, and respiratory therapist Vic Boynton, center, wait with Kiehl near midnight for a patient to arrive at the emergency room of Cameron Community Hospital. A woman was bringing in her 20-year-old daughter, who was having an allergic reaction to an antibiotic.
On Tuesdays, Kiehl visits the local nursing homes to examine patients.
At 4:35 AM, on his first night as director of the local hospital’s emergency room, Kiehl dictates an emergency room case’s statistics into the transcription center. A patient had been flown to a burn unit in Kansas City moments before. “It’s not a headache, it’s a challenge,” he says of his new position.
Kids like Cody Paysinger are always treated enthusiastically by Kiehl. He not only gives them lots of attention, but also compliments and encourages parents when he feels they are raising their children well.