Hampton doctor marks 50 years of treating patients

HAMPTON — A physician in north-central Iowa is marking five decades of practicing medicine. Dr. Keith Hansen has been with Franklin General Hospital in Hampton as a health care provider since 1973.

Dr. Keith Hanssen (Franklin Hospital photo)

Hansen says there have been many major changes in the medical field since he first took his oath. “When you look at all the fancy machines and scans and everything we can do today, none of that existed back then. I just think that the advancement of technology has been unbelievable when I think back about it and how we practiced 50 years ago,” Hansen says. “The other big thing, of course, has been the explosion of pharmaceuticals. Prescribing drugs was pretty simple back then, and now it’s this vast forest that you get to pick from.”

Hansen says the big challenge for the medical field remains the lack of physicians in rural Iowa. “I think a community has to look at opportunities and kids when they’re in high school and find people that might be interested and try and support them and their endeavors,” Hansen says. “You know, we’re fortunate, we got a new physician coming October 2nd, but we’ve been a long time looking, too.”

He recently celebrated his 50th anniversary with an ice cream social in Hampton. Hansen says he has no immediate plans to retire.