A Mercy doctor who has practiced 36 years in Mountain Grove, Missouri has been elected the next president of the World Medical Association.
Dr. David Barbe has held leadership roles not only with Mercy, but also the Missouri State Medical Association and is the past president of the American Medical Association. Barbe was elected by a group of 100 delegates to the organization’s annual convention last week in Tbilisi, Georgia.
“If I sit in my office in Mountain Grove, I can care for about 3,000 patients and my community,” Barbe said in a statement. “I wanted to help more people than that, so I got involved on a state level, then nationally. It’s so gratifying to think that in this role, I’ll be able to help improve patient care around the world.”
The World Medical Association represents over nine million physicians in 114 counties around the world. Barbe had been one of three representatives to the international convention during the last three years from the American Medical Association.
“We find that many of the challenges we face in health care are international,” Barbe said. “For example, we may think the U.S. has the greatest challenges in coverage, but there are significant access issues around the world – and not just in third-world countries. Even those with a public health care system may have patients waiting months to see a specialist. These are things we can help solve together.”
Barbe will serve one year as president-elect and then be officially inaugurated as the new president in October 2020 at the organization’s annual meeting in Spain.