She grew up in a big city and initially went in to accounting, but Dr. Dawn Barker has now found her true calling practicing medicine in a closer-knit community.
“I went in to accounting because I wanted a schedule that allowed me to be home for our daughter after school and flexible enough that I could go on field trips,” Dr. Barker said. “Once she started high school, those needs were gone and I could explore what I really wanted to do. My greatest joy has always come from taking care of others.”
Dr. Barker began her medical training with pre-med classes in her hometown, at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She then received her Doctor of Osteopathy degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. At that point, she and her family were ready for a change in address.
“I completed my training in a rural community,” she said. “After spending time in both the city and small-town America, there was just no turning back. My husband’s family is from St. Louis and mine is in Kansas City, so we wanted a community in between the two. Of all the places we looked, Lebanon just felt like home.”
Dr. Barker would like nothing more than for her patients to be so healthy they rarely need her services. “I am passionate about prevention,” she said. “I grew up in a family affected by heart disease and diabetes. It was heartbreaking watching loved ones suffer through painful surgeries, strokes, amputations and a decreased quality of life. I strongly encourage my patients to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. I’ll be focused on keeping you healthy.”
When she isn’t caring for patients, you can bet Dr. Barker is somewhere learning a new skill. “I am constantly changing hobbies,” she shared. “I’ll knit for a while, then switch to rappelling. Then I’ll paint for a while before focusing on organizing a tea party for Kindergarteners.”
You can find Dr. Dawn Barker at Mercy Clinic Family Medicine – Lebanon, 331 Hospital Drive, Suite C. To make an appointment, just call 417-533-6500 or click the box below.