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KU medical student to participate in NFL sports medicine rotation with Kansas City Chiefs

NFL program offers opportunity to KU School of Medicine student with aspirations in sports medicine.

Yellow and red flowers surround big blue letters KU
KU School of Medicine is one of 19 medical schools nationwide participating in this newly expanded program.

Patrick Baki, who will be a fourth-year medical student this fall at the University of Kansas Medical School, will get an up-close look at what it’s like to be a sports medicine doctor in the NFL. Baki is participating in a newly expanded initiative that is providing medical students with the opportunity to complete a clinical rotation with NFL club medical staff.

The NFL, together with the NFL Physicians Society (NFLPS) and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS), announced last week the league-wide expansion of the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative. Medical students interested in primary care sports medicine and orthopedic surgery have been selected to complete one-month clinical rotations with NFL clubs, presenting a unique opportunity to learn from and work directly with club medical staff as they deliver world-class care to players across the league.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students,” said Mark Meyer, M.D., senior associate dean for student affairs at KU School of Medicine. “We are extremely pleased to partner with the Chiefs and the NFL in this program, and we are excited that KU School of Medicine was chosen to participate.”

The 2023 program has matched students from 19 medical schools with NFL clubs across the league. The medical schools participating are: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Michigan State University School of Human Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Sidney Kimmel Medical College-Jefferson Medical, Stanford University Medical School, University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Kansas School of Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School, University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, University of Washington School of Medicine and Wake Forest School of Medicine. Medical Schools in the pilot program last year will again participate: Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Howard University College of Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine and Meharry Medical College.

Portrait of Patrick Baki
Patrick Baki

“I am extremely grateful and excited to participate in the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative,” said Baki, who will be working with Chiefs team physician Paul Schroeppel. “It has long been a dream of mine to be a sports medicine physician who is involved in the care of professional athletes in the NFL club setting. While at first I thought this to be nothing more than a hopeful aspiration, the NFL and this great program are providing students who are underrepresented in medicine/sports medicine with the opportunity of a lifetime.”

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.

“Working toward diverse representation across all roles in our league continues to be a top priority, and this program helps us make a tangible impact to grow and bolster a pipeline of diverse sports medicine professionals,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “We know that diversity makes us stronger at every level, and we look forward to welcoming the 2023 class to our player care teams at clubs across the league.”

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