An 88-year-old man may soon lose his license to practice medicine, a paper he has carried for more than a half century, if the Mississippi State Board of Licensure has its way, according to The Washington Post.
For the last two years, Dr. Carrol Frazier Landrum has been running his medical ‘practice’ out of his 2007 Toyota Camry. According to WLBT, the Mississippi State Board of Licensure is asking him to surrender his medical license, claiming that he is ‘incompetent.’
In poverty stricken, small-town Mississippi, where transportation is limited, Landrum says that he is happy to meet his patients wherever they are. Landrum says that he’ll even drive up to 50 miles away. Landrum, a World War II veteran, says the location doesn’t matter, because his duty is to “help anyone who calls on him.”
In his interview with the Washington Post, Landrum said:
“I grew up poor, and when the doctor would come to us, and he was happy to see us, I pictured myself doing that some day. I try not to ever turn people away — money or no money – because that’s where the need is.”
Landrum has been practicing medicine ever since he received his medical degree from Tulane University in 1959. For nearly 20 years, Landrum ran his practice out of a makeshift office at an apartment complex. But he was forced out two years ago because he feared for his life – and the lives of his patients – due to increasing gang violence:
“It became infested with drugs and the problem was so great that I had to get out. They were chasing each other with guns. There was absolutely no place to go. My patients kept saying, don’t leave, don’t leave. I started working out of my automobile.”
Landrum says that today, he sees three or four patients a week, most of whom are old friends. Often times, appointments take place in a planned meeting place such as a parking lot.
But the state licensing board balked when they realized he had moved his practice to his car.
Landrum believes the board labeled him “incompetent” because it’s a vague word that helps them avoid citing a specific occupational violation. He insists he’s done nothing wrong to merit the label.
The community has begun signing petitions to help Dr. Landrum keep his license.
A woman told WLBT, “I think he should be left alone and steadily serve the people.”
The Medical Board’s executive director told the Washington Post that he could not publicly address the situation until the investigation has been concluded.