Karen opened her practice 19 years ago and has been the only physician in town for the last 12. Where an average doctor sees maybe 20 patients a day, she sees 30-plus, long ago accepting the necessity of 11-hour work days that last into nightfall during the colder months.
The practice, known as Clay County Medical Center, isn’t what a metro Atlantan would call typical. The building began life as a Tastee Freeze stand. It also spent time as a car dealership, a loan office and a storage facility before becoming Karen’s office. It sits just south of downtown Fort Gaines, the county seat, not far from the long-shuttered hospital.