Home Health & Education Meharry’s Morgan Williams takes part in NFL’s Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative

Meharry’s Morgan Williams takes part in NFL’s Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative

by PRIDE Newsdesk
Morgan Williams

by Jim Wyatt

The NFL, together with the NFL Physicians Society (NFLPS) and the Professional Football Athletic Trainer Society (PFATS), have announced the roster of medical students who will participate in the second year of the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative.

The Titans will be participating in the program for the second year in a row, as Morgan Williams from Meharry Medical College will be with the team in Tennessee.

“I am very excited for this opportunity to work with the Titans,” Williams said. “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.”

The NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative 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 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.”

Last year’s pilot program hosted 14 students at eight NFL clubs, including the Titans. 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, including five students from Nashville’s Meharry Medical College, as well as other medical schools local to NFL clubs.

According to the NFL, 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.

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.

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