Meet the Desert Dentist of West Texas

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Dr. Iris Korus runs the only business in the town of Valentine, Texas. As she says, “You come to Valentine, you can’t get a root beer but you can get a root canal.”

The choice to open her dental practice out in the west Texas desert was a lifelong dream. It all started when this dentist built her own ranch just south of Van Horn. There, she can scan the horizon for miles and feel at peace.

Dr. Korus told the Texas Country Reporter that she used to commute to Marfa to practice dentistry and pay the bills. But she couldn’t stand the long hours of driving. Or working so far away from her beloved country ranch.

So instead of giving up hope on her desert dream, she opened up shop in the lonely town of Valentine.

With a population of a little over 200, the main street of the town is a dusty relic of another age. But Dr. Korus’ business doesn’t look to be hurting from the location choice.

In fact, she has a loyal customer base and sees around 25 patients a day. Her staff brings in their own lunch since there are no stores or restaurants nearby.

And at the end of the day, Iris Korus can pack up and drive straight home to her beloved ranch. She tells Texas Country Reporter, “I didn’t realize how attached you can get and you just become a part of it. Like you just want to be buried here or something.”

The video below shows the quiet beauty of the place she calls home: