The National Football League (NFL) is working to diversify the employment pipelines for students pursuing a career in sports medicine.

As AfroTech previously told you, the NFL partnered with the NFL Physicians Society (NFLPS) and the Professional Football Athletic Trainer Society (PFATS) for the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative.

Now, the program welcomes 14 students selected from four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) who will begin clinical rotations with NFL club medical staff in September.

Program Welcomes 14 HBCU Students

This year’s cohort has been selected and includes Kadarius Burgess (Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science), Alexandra Cancio-Bello (Howard University College of Medicine), Omolayo Dada (Morehouse School of Medicine), and Yomiyou Geleta (Meharry Medical College).

“As an athlete and someone who truly loves sports, I was elated to have the opportunity to work alongside premiere athletes and skilled physicians. This initiative allows me to apply my clinical skills and knowledge at the highest level in sports medicine. I hope to learn more about the field of sports medicine and how best to care for athletes, keeping them healthy and getting them back to what they love doing the most,” said Dada, according to a press release.

Statement From NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills:

“I am thrilled to welcome these outstanding medical students to our clubs this fall,” said Sills, according to a press release. “This program will be an opportunity not only for these students to learn from NFL club medical staff, but also to develop mentoring relationships that will help them throughout their careers. As we embark on the first season of this initiative, I am hopeful that our efforts to diversify the pipeline of students interested in sports medicine will have long-lasting positive effects on the medical care athletes receive well beyond NFL players.”

Students Will Work Directly With Eight NFL Clubs

Areas of interest for the program will target primary care sports medicine and/or orthopedic surgery. In addition, students will work directly with one of eight NFL clubs: the Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans, and Washington Commanders.

The program will provide opportunities for students to gain experience working under orthopedic team physicians, primary care team physicians, and athletic trainers. Participants will also become acquainted with return-to-play guidelines and on-field treatment considerations for NFL players.

“We are delighted to be welcoming the first class and hosting two of the medical students with our team, the 49ers,” said Dr. Timothy McAdams, NFLPS President and San Francisco 49ers head team physician, according to a press release. “Being able to be a part of this program to bring more diversity into sports medicine is an honor and privilege.”