COM alum of the year: Niru Pandeya, D.O.

August 27, 2009 —

pandeyaA 1969 graduate of Des Moines University was recently chosen as the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) Alum of the Year. Nirmalendu (Niru) K. Pandeya, D.O., M.S., of West Des Moines, IA, was chosen for his years of support and volunteer work. In addition to interviewing prospective students and spreading the good word about Des Moines University (DMU), Dr. Pandeya is also active with the DMU global health department.

Robert Suter, D.O., secretary/treasurer of COM Alumni Association Board of Directors, said, “Dr. Niru Pandeya has been told ‘you can’t do that’ many times throughout his life, and every time proved he could. He grew up in a poor village in India where he almost died of cholera, and where even today many people don’t have electricity. Despite the odds against him, he was determined to become a doctor. In 1962, when he was summoned to the draft board in Lincoln, Nebraska, he told the woman on staff that he had more than a dozen rejection letters from medical schools but was still optimistic; she apparently appreciated his humor and excused him from a trip to Vietnam. In return, he promised her he would serve his adopted country after reaching his educational goals.”

Dr. Pandeya continues to have a worldwide impact; he has performed numerous pro bono surgeries in India. He has been a champion of global medical service opportunities for DMU students. A believer in the philosophies that the universe is a family and that a drop at a time makes an ocean, he also encourages fellow alumni to help people in need while mentoring students.

Now retired from his work in plastic surgery, Dr. Pandeya enjoys his recent appointment as adjunct clinical associate professor of global medicine at DMU. As a military physician he obtained the rank of brigadier general and commander of 132 TAC hospital in the United States Air Force and Iowa Air National Guard. He is also a Fellow in the following organizations: The American Academy of Osteopathic Surgeons, the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, the International College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the Association of Surgeons of India.

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Des Moines University (DMU) is the only private medical school in Iowa, offering graduate-level, professional degree programs in osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, biomedical sciences, anatomy, health care administration and public health. Founded in 1898, the institution offers superior academics in a collaborative environment. DMU students' pass rate on national examinations and board certifications is consistently higher than the national average and the rates at similar institutions.


Courtney Tompkins has been part of the DMU marketing team since Nov. 2005 and loves promoting a school she believes in so thoroughly. Proud daughter and patient of DMU alumni, Courtney knows, first-hand, that Des Moines University is doing a world of good. A fan of all outdoor festivals, fruity drinks and nearly all edibles, she has a hard time narrowing down her list of favorite places to go and things to do but lists the Iowa State Fair as an all-time fave. She loves her 8-minute commute to DMU from Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines. She and husband Tyler are owned by three large dogs, Tonka, Tucker and Tank.