Dr. Karen Kinsell’s work as the sole physician servicing Clay County inspired a Georgia Southern University filmmaker to tell her story and bring to light the broader issues of healthcare access.
In the heart of rural southwest Georgia lies Clay County along the Georgia-Alabama border. Home to approximately 3,000 people, many of the residents are grappling with a lack of medical services with only one doctor serving the entire county. Dr. Kinsell is that doctor.
The result is “The Only Doctor,” a film by Matthew Hashiguchi, a Georgia Southern University associate professor of multimedia and film production.
“The Only Doctor” started as a project focused on maternal mortality. Hashiguchi and his wife were expecting their first child, and he wanted to learn more about what to anticipate. Along the way, he learned the statistics regarding maternal health in Georgia, which piqued his interest. However, as he ventured into this topic, the project transformed into a mission to bring to light the broader issues of healthcare access.
The film, which will be screened at the SCAD Film Festival this month, shines a spotlight on the plight of a community in need of medical assistance and the dedicated doctor fighting to keep her clinic’s doors open. Hashiguchi delves into Kinsell’s sacrifices for her clinic’s operations, revealing her commitment to her patients.
“Dr. Kinsell gets calls at home all hours of the day and night,” Hashiguchi said. “She at times has had to pay the bills from her own bank account. But I’d say the biggest sacrifice is she’s the only doctor who does not have breaks.”
“Savannah’s my home,” the professor said. “I’m very excited to be able to share this film with people in my community, friends and colleagues. So this being at a festival in my home and part of my community is really special for me. And it’s a film about this state and the issues surrounding it, so that makes it all the more important and special.”
“The Only Doctor” will screen at the SCAD Film Festival on Oct. 27 at 12:30 p.m. in the Lucas Theatre for the Arts. More information on the film, screening and Hashiguchi’s award-winning work can be found here.