Ever since David Barbe, MD, graduated from the MU School of Medicine in 1980, he knew he wanted to serve as a rural family physician in his hometown of Mountain Grove, Missouri – about an hour away from Springfield. He’s an advocate for creating accessible health care in rural areas and says part of that is training future physicians and incentivizing them to work in such places.
“We have a shortage of family physicians. There are not enough of us,” Barbe said. “We need to encourage students to give some consideration to a career in family medicine.”
Barbe acknowledges the high cost of medical school and the debt incurred by many students. That’s why he sponsors a scholarship specifically for students interested in rural family medicine, aiming to offset at least a little debt for a future doctor and incentivize interest in rural medicine. Barbe also wants to encourage other physicians to do the same.
“I hope it also helps other physicians think to themselves, ‘If David can sponsor a scholarship for a student, maybe I could too,’” Barbe said. “I hope it raises the visibility of individuals sponsoring scholarships to help students financially on their educational journey.”