Alumni Spotlight: Don Myears, MD ‘82

Don Myears, MD ’82

To say the Myears family bleeds Mizzou black and gold would be an understatement. Don Myears, MD ’82, his wife Karen Myears, BS ’79, and their four children – Walker, BA ’05; Hillary, BS ’07; Melanie, JD ’12 and Samantha, BS ’14 – are all proud graduates of the University of Missouri.

Together, the family wants to leave a legacy. The Myears Family Professorship in Cardiology was formed as part of an estate gift from Don and Karen. The endowment will directly benefit the Department of Medicine’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and assist in research support, equipment, professional development and staff support.

Established a decade ago, the Myears long-lasting connection with the university led to the endowment’s creation.

“MU has been a big part of all of our family members’ lives, and has given so much to all of us,” said Don Myears. “Whether it was receiving a fabulous education, meeting my future spouse, or my children getting to meet so many wonderful people, we wanted to ensure that we had a legacy going forward to give back to a school that has provided so much to us.”

The Myears’ endowment supporting cardiovascular medicine has held special meaning to the family for decades.

“Our family has possessed three-plus generations of cardiovascular conditions, and we know how devastating they can be,” said Don. “It has affected almost every family of ours in some way, so it was meaningful to specifically give and impact MU’s Cardiovascular Division. This is also a tribute to our late son, Matthew Robert Myears, who unfortunately didn’t survive his cardiovascular condition.”

Currently, Don serves as a cardiologist for Mercy Cardiology at Mercy Heart Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. Each year, Don and Karen trek north to join their children for as many Mizzou Athletics football and basketball gamedays as they can.

The Myears' four grandkids prepare for another Mizzou gameday in Columbia
The Myears' four grandkids prepare for another Mizzou gameday in Columbia

When the extended Myears family is donned in their favorite Tigers attire and enjoying each other’s company at their traditional pregame cookout, Don can’t help but reflect on his own time in Columbia, Missouri, as a medical student in the 70s and 80s.

“I went from being the rawest and most naive teenager from Springfield, Missouri, to a soon-to-be father for the first time when I concluded my time at MU medical school,” said Don. “It was an eight-year period where I matured and grew up quickly. It was a period of my life that I owe a lot to the university. It opened so many doors for me.”

With more than 40 years of experience in his medical field, Myears has had the opportunity to interact with some of the most talented professionals in his industry. Looking back at the hands-on training he received at MU and the continued evolution of medical education, Myears is always eager to boast about his alma mater.

“The MU School of Medicine is honestly a well-kept secret,” said Don. “I did my residency in Colorado and my fellowship at Washington University, and was surrounded by peers from Ivy League schools, Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University. I quickly realized however that I wasn’t out of my league at all. MU does an incredible job of preparing you and puts graduates on a level playing field with individuals from some of the most renowned medical schools in the country. If you apply yourself and put in everything you’ve got, you’ll leave this school as competitive as anyone in the country for any position you pursue.”

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