Dave Barry, MD passed away recently. His death was sudden and unexpected.
Dave was a friend and fellow veteran. He opened his house to me and my two children and dogs about 12 years ago when we visited Virginia Beach for an impromptu lecture. I had never met him before the day I showed up on his doorstep with my family in tow. He could not have been more gracious or generous. My kids and dogs nearly destroyed his guest room but Dave just shook it off and laughed about it.
Portsmouth Naval Medical Center was my former duty station and Dave was serving as residency Program Director - an Army officer in a Command full of sailors - Dave took his share of good-natured abuse and gave it back in kind. He insisted that my family accompany him to the shipyards and he arranged a tour of a naval warship. I’ll never forget the excitement on his face when he realized that the USS Barry (DD-933) was docked nearby - he was like a little kid - and he insisted on getting his picture taken with that destroyer class vessel.
Dave was a gifted clinician, teacher, officer, patriot, and leader. I last spoke with Dave in February of 2021 when I needed help finding some resources in Southern California for a research experiment. I called him up and we spoke for an hour and he directed several other physicians and scientists my way to help accomplish the mission. That’s what Dave did - he led people, directed projects and accomplished the mission, most recently as a member of the Board of Directors of ABEM.
Dave’s death is an enormous blow to emergency medicine, the toxicology community and the fraternity (and sorority) of military EM physicians, and everyone who knew him and who was taught by him or worked with him. We are all better people for having known him and for having had the privilege of his wisdom and company.
The ACEP Toxicology Section extends our heartfelt sympathy to Dave’s family and friends.
Chair, ACEP Toxicology Section