Dr. David Barbe, a small-town doctor who practices in rural Missouri, is now the leader of the nation’s largest physician organization.
Barbe, a longtime family physician who graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia’s medical school, was sworn in last week as president of the American Medical Association at the organization’s annual meeting in Chicago.
His tenure at the AMA comes at a tumultuous time, as Republican lawmakers are looking to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which could result in millions losing health care coverage, according to some estimates.
Despite the political climate, Barbe said he will fight for insurance coverage for all.
In his inaugural address on Tuesday, Barbe spoke of his hometown of Mountain Grove and the realities facing his community when it comes to poverty, lack of insurance and the need for care — an issue many communities across the country face, he said.
As an expert in health policy, who focused much of his time on developing policies for the AMA, and as a practicing physician in a rural community, he believes he has a unique and credible voice within the industry.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch