Diverse medical students from 19 medical schools will complete clinical rotations with NFL club medical staffs across the country
NEW YORK (JULY 18, 2023) – The National Football League (NFL), together with the NFL Physicians Society (NFLPS) and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS), today announced the roster of medical students who will participate in the second year of the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative, which aims to increase and diversify the pipeline of students interested in pursuing careers in sports medicine and, over time, help to diversify NFL club medical staffs. The students' clinical rotations will begin as training camps open for the 2023 NFL season next week.
Last year's pilot program hosted 14 students at eight NFL clubs. This season, the program will expand league-wide to more than double the number of students in the program's second year. Diverse students from 19 medical schools will complete clinical rotations with NFL club medical staffs focused on primary care sports medicine and/or orthopedic surgery.
Participating students hail from the country's four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) medical schools as well as other medical schools local to NFL clubs.
"The NFL and our club medical staffs are thrilled to welcome these impressive medical students from around the country to the league this season," said NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills. "The league-wide expansion of the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative this season demonstrates strong interest in sports medicine from diverse and under-represented medical students and is indicative of our clubs' commitment to diversity in all facets of the game."
The students participating in the program for the 2023 season include:
|Name||Medical School||NFL Club|
|Temitope Elutilo-Ayoola||Morehouse School of Medicine||Arizona Cardinals|
|Brandon Chiedo||Morehouse School of Medicine||Atlanta Falcons|
|Safwan Hyder||Georgetown University School of Medicine||Baltimore Ravens|
|Mohamed Bah||University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences||Buffalo Bills|
|Alexis Restrepo||Wake Forest University School of Medicine||Carolina Panthers|
|Tyler Kelly||University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville||Chicago Bears|
|Alexandria Williams||Morehouse School of Medicine||Cincinnati Bengals|
|Penelope Halkiadakis||Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine||Cleveland Browns|
|Imari Parham||Meharry Medical College||Dallas Cowboys|
|Adrianna Hayden||Meharry Medical College||Denver Broncos|
|Tamarandobra “Dobra” Ogeh||Michigan State University College of Human Medicine||Detroit Lions|
|Analisa Narro||McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston||Houston Texans|
|Adam Munoz||Morehouse School of Medicine||Indianapolis Colts|
|Lancelot Benn||Howard University College of Medicine||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Patrick Baki||University of Kansas School of Medicine||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Cameron Harris||Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV||Las Vegas Raiders|
|Daniel Cordova||Charles R. Drew University||Los Angeles Chargers|
|Nonye Ikeanyi||Charles R. Drew University||Los Angeles Rams|
|Nicholas Cavil||Meharry Medical College||Miami Dolphins|
|Hassan Mian||University of Minnesota||Minnesota Vikings|
|Bryan Beaubrun||Howard University College of Medicine||New England Patriots|
|Schyler Morton||Meharry Medical College||New Orleans Saints|
|Valdemar Wany||Morehouse School of Medicine||New York Giants|
|Azra Dees||Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University||New York Jets|
|David Jimenez||Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia Eagles|
|Warren Austin||University of Pittsburgh Medical Center||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Bella Gomez||Stanford University School of Medicine||San Francisco 49ers|
|Brian Cedeño||University of Washington School of Medicine||Seattle Seahawks|
|Jamie Maignan||Morehouse School of Medicine||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Morgan Williams||Meharry Medical College||Tennessee Titans|
|Robert Emeh||Howard University College of Medicine||Washington Commanders|
A complete roster of the 2023 participating students can be found here.
During their one-month rotations, students will observe and participate in the care of NFL players, working directly with and under the supervision of the orthopedic team physicians, primary care team physicians and athletic trainers to gain medical knowledge and exposure to patient care in sports medicine. Additionally, students will become familiar with return-to-play guidelines and on-field treatment considerations for NFL players. By the end of the rotation, students will understand the basic elements of all facets of care provided to NFL players from an orthopedic, primary care sports medicine and athletic training perspective.
"We are incredibly excited to participate in the second year of such an impactful and important diversity program," said NFLPS President and San Francisco 49ers head team physician Timothy McAdams, MD. "Mentorship is a critical component of recruiting students into our field, so we're thrilled to immerse more talented medical students with diverse backgrounds into the NFL clubs' medical communities. We're all looking forward to watching this program continue to grow and impact more medical students in years to come."
"What an exciting time to launch the second year of the Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative," said Reggie Scott, PFATS Past President and Los Angeles Rams Vice President, Sports Medicine and Performance. "The league-wide expansion is just a testament to the commitment of diversity initiatives in the health and safety space in the NFL. We look forward to the continued growth with this program to create opportunities and experiences for so many diverse medical students."
As the program continues to grow, the league aims to further expand the pipeline initiative in the coming years to include additional disciplines, spanning additional roles in the NFL's player care "Team Behind the Team" including physician assistants, certified athletic trainers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nutritionists and behavioral health clinicians.
The Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative is part of the league's broader commitment to ensure that staff and leaders in the league office and at NFL clubs reflect the racial and gender makeup of America. Among NFL club medical staffs, the initiative builds on existing efforts to recruit and hire diverse medical staff when positions become available across all roles, and to increase diversity across NFL medical committees.
Students participating in the program this year expressed enthusiasm about the opportunity and optimism about the future of diversity in sports medicine:
"Words cannot express how grateful I am to have been selected to participate in the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative. I am looking forward to being a part of the sports medicine team on a national stage and learning about sports-related injury management protocols from expert leaders in the NFL. Working with athletes at this level is truly the opportunity of a lifetime and I look forward to the positive impact that this program will have in my future career as a physician." – Temitope Elutilo-Ayoola, Morehouse School of Medicine, Arizona Cardinals
"When I made the decision to pursue a career in health care, I knew that Sports Medicine was an ideal fit for my interests. I often envisioned what working with athletes on a daily basis would look like, but I had never had an opportunity to see first-hand what this line of work entails. That was until I heard about the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative program. When I first learned about this program through communication from my institution, I was ecstatic to say the least. This was the exact type of experience that I was looking for. I never thought that an opportunity like this would be available to me this early in my medical training. I am grateful to be a part of the class of 2023 and I am hopeful that through this experience, I will be able to gain valuable insight into what a career in Sports Medicine encompasses." – Brandon Chiedo, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta Falcons
"I am excited and honored to participate in the NFL diversity in sports medicine pipeline initiative! This is a great chance for me to further explore my interest in Orthopedics and work with a great professional staff. I look forward to making new memories, connections, and experiences." – Mohamed Bah, University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo Bills
"The NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative is an excellent program that will give me practical exposure to professional-level sports medicine and meaningful connections in the field. I can't wait to learn more about what it means to be a team physician and apply the skills and knowledge I gain to my career in orthopedics! I am immensely grateful for this opportunity from the NFL as well as the support and mentorship that comes with it." – Alexis Restrepo, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Carolina Panthers
"There are truly no words to express what this opportunity means to me. I am beyond excited to learn from a multi-disciplinary sports medicine care team through this well-rounded experience. The NFL's commitment to diversify the field of sports medicine is especially important to me and I am eager to take part in this opportunity. As a Black woman, I know what it means to feel unseen and underrepresented and the far-reaching implications this has on health care. My interest in sports medicine arose from a simple desire to advocate for the health and well-being of my own family and friends as they participated in the sports and activities they love. I am confident that the experience offered by the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Initiative will not only elevate my understanding of what it means to care for world-class athletes but also prepare me to work with a diverse patient population with a wide variety of health goals." – Tyler Kelly, University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville, Chicago Bears
"Sports have always been an integral part of my life, so it is a dream getting the chance to work with athletes of the highest level. I am extremely grateful to the NFL for opening its doors to medical students and providing this once in a lifetime opportunity." – Alexandria Williams, Morehouse School of Medicine, Cincinnati Bengals
"I am very grateful and honored to have been selected to join the Cleveland Browns as part of the NFL Diversity Pipeline Program. I am excited to learn from an experienced multidisciplinary team of expert clinicians that all play an important role in the delivery of excellent, comprehensive, innovative, and patient-centered care to high-performing professional athletes. As an aspiring orthopedic surgeon, I look forward to expanding my clinical knowledge and learning from providers and patients alike as I participate in the diagnosis, management, rehabilitation, and return-to-play of NFL athletes." – Penelope Halkiadakis, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland Browns
"I am extremely thankful to the NFL and Meharry for this opportunity. I am eager to learn from this elite team of physicians and physical trainers. As a fan of Dallas sports, medicine and the human body, this is a Dallas kid's dream come true. I hope this program and others like it in the future continue to improve diversity in the realm of sports medicine." – Imari Parham, Meharry Medical College, Dallas Cowboys
"I am beyond grateful and excited to be a part of this program. As an athlete and aspiring Sports Medicine physician, I am thrilled for the opportunity to work alongside some of the best athletes and their medical teams. This will be a once in a lifetime experience and I am looking forward to fully immersing myself in all aspects of this program!" – Adrianna Hayden, Meharry Medical College, Denver Broncos
"I'm so grateful to be able to participate in the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Elective. Sports medicine is something that has been a consistent part of my life both on the giving and receiving ends as a former athlete. In college, my passion for sports medicine led me to pursue a degree in Exercise Science. Now as a medical student, I am continuing this passion and pursuing a career in orthopedic surgery. I am excited to participate in this program to learn from skilled orthopedic surgeons in the field and get a chance to continue to develop my clinical skills through this program. As someone who never saw themselves fully represented in medicine as a kid, becoming the first physician in my family always felt like too big of a dream. I hope through this program, I can continue to inspire other youth, women, and people of color to pursue a career in sports medicine. No dream is too big, and I am thankful that the NFL is working to invest in the dreams of more underrepresented people in sports medicine." – Tamarandobra "Dobra"
Ogeh, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Detroit Lions
"I am excited to be given this amazing opportunity to learn about sports medicine at the highest level during my final year of medical school. Being someone who has played sports my entire life from basketball to power-lifting, and as someone who is applying to orthopedic surgery, this unique experience is truly a dream come true! Likewise, I am excited to see how big of an impact this pipeline program can make on the diversity we see within the field of sports medicine and beyond." – Analisa Narro, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, Houston Texans
"I am overjoyed to be a part of this experience and excited to see what medicine is like behind the scenes of the NFL. This is truly a unique opportunity that I am sure to never forget." – Adam Munoz, Morehouse School of Medicine, Indianapolis Colts
"The NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Program Pipeline Initiative will provide me with much-needed clinical exposure, educational opportunities, and mentorship that will enable me to reach my fullest potential while making meaningful contributions to Orthopedics in the future." – Lancelot Benn, Howard University College of Medicine, Jacksonville Jaguars
"I am extremely grateful to the NFL, NFLPS, and PFATS for creating this amazing program to increase diversity within sports medicine and the National Football League. I plan to take full advantage of this opportunity to help pave the way and encourage future students from diverse ethnic backgrounds to choose this path. This program has the potential to change the lives of so many students like myself who at one point thought a career in professional sports wasn't achievable. With support from this program, I now believe my dream of becoming an NFL team physician is truly possible." – Patrick Baki, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City Chiefs
"I consider myself extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to learn sports medicine from The Raiders, where it is practiced with excellence. I am eager to meet the team and familiarize myself with the intricacies of what it takes to keep NFL athletes healthy and performing at their best." – Cameron Harris, Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV, Las Vegas Raiders
"It is so rare to get the opportunity to work with elite level athletes. Having the chance to work with the care team that keeps the athletes healthy is even more special. The NFL is changing what I thought was possible for black women in orthopedics and I am beyond grateful to be a part of this initiative. I have so much respect for the discipline and dedication that it takes to reach the professional level. I hope to apply what I learn from the physicians, trainers, nutritionists, and all the other staff members to my community practice during residency and beyond. As an aspiring pediatric orthopedic surgeon, I am looking forward to working with student athletes and doing all I can to keep them injury-free while they play the sport they love!" – Nonye Ikeanyi, Charles R. Drew University, Los Angeles Rams
"Orthopedic surgery is widely known to be a highly competitive residency program to match into. That is why I was thrilled to have been chosen for the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative. This program has given me the opportunity to learn from some of the most distinguished surgeons in the field of sports medicine. I am eager to gain valuable knowledge and skills from them and hope to earn their confidence and endorsement in my pursuit of becoming an Orthopedic surgeon. – Nicholas Cavil, Meharry Medical College, Miami Dolphins
"As a medical student getting to observe and participate in the care of NFL athletes is an opportunity of a lifetime. Working with the Minnesota Vikings health care team will allow me to gain deeper understanding of how health care is delivered in a high intensity and high stakes environment and best prepare me for a career in sports medicine. I am grateful to the NFL and Minnesota Vikings for this amazing experience." – Hassan Mian, University of Minnesota, Minnesota Vikings
"When I first read about the Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative, I was immediately fascinated with the opportunity. Having the chance to be a part of a program that's playing such a vital role in the initiative to diversify the current field of sports medicine is so exciting for me. I was even more ecstatic to learn that I would be returning to a city I once lived in as a master's student, to now work and learn under the medical staff of the New England Patriots. As a former athlete and a future orthopedic surgeon, I view this program as a means to springboard me into the field, affording me unparalleled preliminary exposure to learn from and be directly mentored by those who are pioneers within the world of sports medicine, as well as interact with such a familiar population of patients. I want to thank Howard University College of Medicine, the NFL, the NFLPS, as well as the Patriots organization for partnering and allowing the opportunity for not only myself but also future students to come participate in such a pioneering program as this." – Bryan Beaubrun, Howard University College of Medicine, New England Patriots
"Words cannot express how grateful I am to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime dream such as The NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative. This initiative will provide me with invaluable experiences and opportunities to learn from both industry professionals and athletes, which will help me develop the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in this highly competitive field. I am elated at the opportunity to return to my hometown team! WHODAT!!!" – Schyler Morton, Meharry Medical College, New Orleans Saints
"This opportunity would not have been possible without God - with Him, I'm thankful. Looking forward to going back to my athletic roots in my hometown!" – Valdemar Wany, Morehouse School of Medicine, New York Giants
"I am absolutely elated to be participating in the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative. I'm excited to increase my knowledge of sports medicine and learn more about the various professionals and different treatment strategies involved in the care of professional athletes." – Azra Dees, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, New York Jets
"The NFL Diversity Pipeline Initiative is an incredibly opportunity to gain exposure to Sports Medicine in such a unique setting. I cannot wait to integrate myself into the team, contribute however I can, and learn from every team member I meet. I am honored to have been selected and hope to serve as an example to young aspiring physicians who are underrepresented in medicine that may not have a role model that looks like them or shares the same experiences that their last name or background does not limit their potential." – David Jimenez, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Eagles
"As a medical student interested in Sports Medicine, I am thrilled and grateful to have the opportunity to be a participant in the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Program Pipeline Initiative. I am hopeful for my experience to be one of immense exposure to and learning about the commitment and work required by the personnel who are dedicated to caring for NFL players." – Warren Austin, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh Steelers
"I am incredibly grateful and excited for the opportunity to join the 2023 group of students for the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative. Seattle has been my home ever since my family came to the U.S. from Mexico, and I am beyond excited and proud to be with the Seahawks for this unique opportunity. I look forward to learning about musculoskeletal health and applying the skills from this unique opportunity to primary care settings. I am particularly interested in sports medicine because the specialty can also improve the Latino community's health, as there are many musculoskeletal injuries secondary to construction, agriculture, and other physically demanding jobs." – Brian Cedeño, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle Seahawks
"I am truly grateful and excited for the opportunity to work with the talented physicians, medical staff, and football players associated with the Tampa Bay Bucs. This is a unique opportunity that I never could have expected without this pipeline directive. I hope more programs like this become available to inspire and encourage under-represented youths to become involved in the field of medicine." – Jamie Maignan, Morehouse School of Medicine, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
"I am very excited for this opportunity to work with the Titans. I am thrilled to uniquely combine my experience as an athlete with my passion for medicine on one of the largest stages in sports. I am grateful for this opportunity and can't wait to get started." – Morgan Williams, Meharry Medical College, Tennessee Titans
"As a medical student pursuing a career in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) and Sports Medicine, I am thrilled that God has blessed me with the opportunity to participate in the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Program Pipeline Initiative. Like many kids who grew up playing football, I dreamt of being in the NFL. And now, through the unique intersection of medicine and sports, I am grateful to Howard University College of Medicine for collaborating with the NFL to provide me with the opportunity to fulfill my childhood dream. Being selected to take part in this initiative represents a significant milestone in my journey towards becoming a leader in the field of sports medicine. I am eager to learn from the best sports medicine physicians in the country, gain hands-on experience in the field, and further enhance my skills in helping athletes recover from injuries and improving their quality of life. Furthermore, as a Nigerian-American who is deeply committed to improving access to sports medicine for underrepresented communities, I am honored to be a part of an initiative that recognizes the importance of diversity and inclusivity in the field. My past involvement with underserved athletes, both with and without disabilities, has given me a profound understanding of the healthcare obstacles encountered by underrepresented communities. By being a part of the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative, I aspire to acquire invaluable expertise that will assist me in becoming a sports medicine physician capable of making a meaningful difference in the lives of athletes from all backgrounds." – Robert Emeh, Howard University College of Medicine, Washington Commanders
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