“Life-Changing”: MSM Student Chosen for Clinical Rotation with Atlanta Falcons
Brandon Chiedo was one of six Morehouse School of Medicine students chosen for the second year of the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative.
By Liza Lucas, 11Alive
ATLANTA — Right now, the Atlanta Falcons are getting ready for Sunday's game across the pond. The team will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in London.
For one local medical student, the season has already been pretty special, not only for the way he's getting to watch the games but also, what he's learning along the way.
"It's surreal," Brandon Chiedo shared with 11Alive. "I was speechless when I walked into the stadium."
Chiedo normally watches football like the majority of football fans: on TV. But for the past month, the Morehouse School of Medicine student took in a different view — working with the Atlanta Falcons, team doctors, and athletic trainers as part of the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative.
"I've always been someone who's been drawn to sports, whether that's me personally playing sports or watching sports, whatever the case may be," Chiedo said. "It was truly, truly inspiring just to be able to see how the physicians and the rest of the healthcare team work with these high-level athletes on a day-to-day basis, but are able to also, from a physician standpoint, manage their day-to-day patients."
This season marks the second year for the program, which aims to increase diversity among athletic trainers and medical staff.
“Morehouse School of Medicine is honored that six of our students were selected to be part of the 2023 NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative,” said Joseph Adrian Tyndall, MD, MPH, Morehouse School of Medicine Executive Vice President of Health Affairs and Dean, in an announcement from the school. “The experience our students will obtain through this primary care and orthopedic sports medicine clinical rotation is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that demonstrates the NFL’s commitment to diversifying the healthcare workforce.”
Morehouse School of Medicine and its three fellow Historically Black Medical Schools (HBMSs) participated in the initiative's pilot program last year with three MSM students among the 14 students total who were hosted by eight NFL clubs. This season, the program expanded, doubling the number of students in the program.
For Chiedo, the chance to get a foot in the door for what he hopes will be a future career has been transformative, a chance to "envision myself ten, twenty years down the line."
"This experience has been life-changing," he said.