From friendship to marriage, two KCU grads look back on dating while in med school

By Felicia Vaught Feb 14, 2023
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From long study hours to fast-paced clinicals, many medical students enter their higher education journey with an expectation of what is going to happen. However, sometimes Cupid has his own plans for unsuspecting individuals. For Drs. Danny and Lauren Neuman, a foundation of friendship, and perhaps a touch of Cupid’s arrow, set the course for them to fall in love during their time at Kansas City University (KCU).

“We were best friends before we ever developed a deeper relationship. We started out studying together and then the relationship just happened organically,” Danny Neuman, DO, MBA (COM ‘17), explained.

“It took a while for Danny to call me his girlfriend, but it’s okay,” Lauren Neuman, DO, MBA (COM ‘17), said with a laugh.

Not only did Danny start calling Lauren his girlfriend, eventually he called her his bride. He decided to propose after their surgery shelf exam, and took painstaking efforts to surprise Lauren after dinner. He chose the perfect proposal spot--the rooftop of the grand Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center.

“It was really pretty overlooking the city. We then had a big surprise party that he planned at his parents’ house. Friends flew in from out of town and we had an entire weekend of fun,” said Lauren.

Planning a wedding while working to become a doctor proved difficult. But Danny and Lauren’s love for each other helped them through their internship and strengthened their desire to become husband and wife even more.

“We got married during our internship year while at KU Med. In fact, we were on nights together as interns at the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center,” said Danny. “Fortunately, our Senior, who was also a KCU graduate, completely understood and recognized where we were in our lives leading up to a wedding.”

The Neumans have excelled in their careers since their days at KCU. Danny is a double board-certified pain medicine physician and anesthesiologist. The KCU Alumni Association also honored him with the Young Alumni Achievement Award in 2020. Lauren is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and was named the first medical director of Johnson County Rehabilitation Hospital in Overland Park, Kansas in 2022. She is also an executive for the post-acute care electronic medical record company DocNow.

“I am so proud of Lauren. She has the most unbelievable bandwidth of anyone I know. She can give 110 percent to multiple things. When people have conservations with her, they truly understand how relatable she is. But, she’s also strategic and methodical,” said Danny.

When asked how they make a marriage work while tackling demanding careers, they both smiled at each other fondly. They explained that they focus on respecting one another and remembering to spend quality time together.

“I think it goes back to that foundation of friendship and being a team. We are not afraid to ask each other for help and we treat each other as equals,” Lauren explained. “We’re also both big foodies, and we like to enjoy a great meal together,” said Lauren.

“When we are in the kitchen together, it is a bit of a dance and it’s nice. Lauren is the head chief and I’m the sous chef. We like to cook together, but we also really like to go out,” said Danny.

Outside of the spectrum of love, the Neumans have a bit of advice to offer current KCU students.

“Don’t stress about the small things; it will all work out. Take care of your body and spend time with friends and family. There is a lot of competition and it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and test taking. Just remember you are human,” said Lauren.

“Focus more on the big picture and the fine details of your niche of medicine. Medicine is a glorious profession because you get to help people in the most vulnerable way, but try not to define yourself by what you do. Define yourself by who you are,” said Danny.

The Neumans have accomplished many great things throughout their lives. But, surely, succeeding in love is their highest achievement of all.

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