Former Camdenton physician honored for research

By Charis Patires/Lake Sun

LAKE OF THE OZARKS – Patients may remember M.R. Pete Hayden as a caring physician, one with the knowledge and skill to cure their ailments.

Add one more acknowledgement to his resume.

He was recently honored with the Citation of Merit, the highest honor bestowed by the University of Missouri School of Medicine and Medical Alumni Organization.

‘I had no idea I would ever be eligible for this type of award because so many of my professors are on this list of people, people I hold high and dear,’ Hayden said. ‘I feel like there (are) so many doctors that I knew that were more qualified to receive this award.’

Hayden said he never anticipated being a part of this distinguished group.

The co-founder of the Lake of the Ozarks Medical Society retired from private practice at the Camdenton Medical Center in 2000. He had been serving the health care needs of residents at the practice since 1973.

‘My most important years where when I spent taking care of patients here in Camdenton,’ Hayden said. ‘I fell in love with the people and the community. It was difficult to leave my patients in the lake area, but I felt that I had to,’ Hayden said. ‘I wanted to do this research.’

Research was something, he said, he had to put on the back burner until later on in life. Now he has the opportunity to donate his time passing on knowledge to students and focusing his efforts on researching and publishing papers, mainly on diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Hayden hopes to find a better way to prevent diabetes, an illness that took the life of a close family member, he said.

He is known across the country for his independent research, longtime professor Dr. Hough Stevenson said.

‘He certainly deserves (the Citation of Merit) award for the contributions he has made,’ he said. ‘He is a remarkable person.

For Hayden, it is a lifelong passion and an undertaking he faces head-on each day.

‘I have always had this quest for knowledge. A lot of times I tell people it has kinda been a hobby. I enjoy what I do. When I take a break from what I am doing, I look at another subject that I want to jump into next.’
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