Mercy St. Francis Doctor Receives Honorary Degree

November 24, 2014

A Mercy St. Francis doctor who has spent the last 13 years helping people in need has received an honorary degree from a national medical association. Martha J. Colville, MD, FAAFP, has achieved the Degree of Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

“I did my residency in Springfield, but I was looking for a place where I could serve those with the greatest needs,” she recalled. “That brought me to Mountain View, where I’d love to stay until I retire.” Dr. Colville exemplifies the mission of Mercy’s foundress, Sister Catherine McAuley, who recognized the needs of people who were economically poor. “This community is very supportive of Mercy St. Francis Hospital and allows me to provide low-income patients all the time and attention they need. That’s what makes it worth it to me.”

Describing his colleague of 13 years, Dr. David Barbe, president, Mercy Clinic Springfield Region, said, “For many years, Dr. Colville was part of our core traditional Family Medicine group that served patients from cradle to grave in the office, nursing home and hospital. Then, when there was a critical need, she became our hospitalist at Mercy St. Francis. She continues to help cover the nursing home and collaborates in our Summersville practice. She has ‘done it all’ for Mercy in our Mountain View area practices.”

Dr. Colville’s reach extends well beyond southwest Missouri. During a three-week period in 2013, Dr. Colville served as the medical officer for a small mission team in the Republic of South Sudan. Back at home, her compassion is echoed through her love for her dogs. “They’re mostly rescues,” she said. “One has one eye, another has three legs, and one has a chronic disease that requires a shot every week.”

Dr. Colville received her honorary degree during a convocation in late October, in conjunction with the AAFP's annual meeting in Washington, DC. The Degree of Fellow recognizes family physicians who have distinguished themselves through service to family medicine and ongoing professional development. The degree requires a minimum of six years of membership in the organization, extensive continuing medical education, participation in public service programs outside medical practice, conducting original research and serving as a teacher in family medicine.