Health Care

Missouri doctor named head of American Medical Association

A family medicine doctor from Mountain Grove, Mo., has been tapped to lead the American Medical Association, the nation’s largest physician group.

The association announced Friday that Dr. David Barbe of Mercy Clinic Family Medicine had been sworn in as its president.

Barbe was on the association’s board of trustees since 2009 and has participated in several AMA committees and task forces. He graduated from the University of Missouri–Columbia School of Medicine and completed his residency in family medicine at a University of Kansas-affiliated program in Wichita. He also received his Master of Health Administration from the University of Missouri–Columbia.

The AMA leads all physician groups with about 225,000 members, but the percentage of practicing physicians who are members has dropped from 75 percent in the 1950s to about 25 percent.

The group has also been roiled by political divisions, with decisions to endorse President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and President Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, physician Tom Price, both proving controversial.

Andy Marso: 816-234-4055, @andymarso