Darel Pruett, DO (COM '80) is a student of the world. Growing up in Zimbabwe as the child of a famous African missionary—Dennis D. Pruett, M.D., a decorated World War II pilot and founder of Hasten International—the youngster started working in the rural mission's hospital at age 12, learning to take X-rays. There was never a question for Darel as to whether he would follow in his father's footsteps and pursue medicine. In fact, there wasn't much of a transition from his missionary role to education.
"I went from the primitive bush of Africa to the United States, where I graduated high school, received my pre-med degree from Milligan College and applied to Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences," Darel says. "I gravitated to the osteopathic concept of treating the whole person, which aligned with what I witnessed all those years in Africa. Over the years my father worked with many osteopaths and supported my choice. For me, osteopathic medicine represented a fellowship of like-minded people."
Darel's recent planned gift to KCU is in honor of the blessed life he experiences as a result of the education he received and to ensure support for future doctors of osteopathic medicine like his son, Andrew, currently a KCU sophomore.
"We have to remember we're here for a short while on this earth to do what we love," Darel says. "It's critical that students concentrate on the goal of their medical training. It's not about the money, because that will come. If you're watching dollars and cents, in my estimation, you're not the best doctor you can be. If you love people and what your talent can do to help them, you'll find success."
Now a resident of Islamorada, Florida in the Florida Keys, 68-year-old Darel is a board-certified Mohs surgeon and owns two Pruett Dermatology clinics, which his wife, Mary, manages. He is one of six physicians who founded DermCare, which provides health care in Florida, Southern California and Texas. He is also a member of the board that runs Hasten International. Darel's busy schedule includes visits to Hasten's various mission works in India and his adopted homeland of Africa.
One of Darel's great joys is to mentor residents motivated to learn for the patient's benefit—something he learned to appreciate at KCU.
"These future physicians, enthusiastic about a career focusing on the entire person for maximum health and wellness, are also the students who keep their professors and instructors excited about medicine," Darel says. "KCU does a remarkable job of offering students every opportunity to be successful, including an emphasis on philanthropic medicine."
Make a Difference
Dr. Darel Pruett hopes his fellow alumni will consider showing gratitude for their KCU education by making a gift.
"It's a way to pay tribute to our deep love for the school and to demonstrate belief in the power and positive impact that excellent training has on future physicians," he says.
For further information, contact KCU Office of Institutional Advancement at 816-654-7280 or firstname.lastname@example.org.