In 1952 Norbert Conrad graduated from the Kansas City College of Osteopathy and Surgery as a doctor of osteopathic medicine. Fast forward 70 years, his alma mater, now known as Kansas City University (KCU), has a very different learning environment, yet the same values remain.
Conrad and his wife Alberta live in the rural area of Mussey, Michigan, where he practiced family medicine and saw four generations of patients until he retired after almost 50 years of service to his community. “I practiced the old-fashioned way and did everything, even house calls, when needed,” he said.
The town doctor in Armada, Michigan, where Conrad grew up was a DO who encouraged him to study osteopathic medicine. Conrad’s passion for medicine was so contagious, it inspired his brother Edgar to become an osteopathic physician as well. He followed in his brother’s footsteps and graduated from KCU in 1955.
Now the family legacy continues with Conrad’s granddaughter, Casondra Vlasak, currently a KCU College of Biosciences one-year track student. She plans to study osteopathic medicine and hopes to serve in a rural community just as her grandfather did. Vlasak shared, “I chose KCU for the resources and support provided to students. The professors are amazing. There is lot of collaboration among the student body, and everyone wants to see you succeed in your goals. I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to study here.”
Vlasak conveyed how excited her grandparents were to make the trip to the Kansas City campus for Homecoming. “They really enjoyed the campus tour and seeing how much KCU has changed since my grandfather's graduation 70 years ago. We sat in the student activities center, and I got to hear many stories about my grandfather's days of practice and how medicine has changed over the years,” she said. “He told me that when he graduated only 12 states recognized DOs as doctors. Osteopaths are now recognized in all 50 states, and I think he was proud to have been a part of building that acceptance and seeing it flourish.”
It was thrilling to have Dr. Conrad and his wife Alberta join us for Homecoming. We are grateful for this family’s tradition of service to others.