Laurent Duvernay-Tardif wraps up summer med school, heads to NFL training camp
Most medical students wrapping up summer classes aren’t heading off to play football in front of 75,000 screaming NFL fans – but Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is not most med students.
“I just finished my last clinical shift in hospital as a medical student on Friday,” said Duvernay-Tardif from the Osler Library of the History of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal.
“I’m doing a little bit of public health right now, going to fly to Kansas City on Wednesday and start training camp on Thursday.”
Duvernay-Tardif was treating patients this summer while training in anesthesia in the mornings.
In the afternoons, he was in the gym, keeping to a strict training schedule.
He says he is as passionate about medicine as he is about football.
“I was doing anesthesia for a month at the new MUHC. It was a great experience. A lot of physiology and pharmacology. It’s really interesting to give drugs and see an immediate reaction,” he said.
In a few weeks, the 6’5″, 320 lb Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman will trade in his lab coat for a helmet and shoulder pads.
He’ll hang up his stethoscope and head out onto the field to violently collide at full speed with other men his size.
WATCH BELOW: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif’s road to the NFL
The two sides of his life seem like complete opposites, but he says he sees similarities.
“In an emergency department, you have to be able to stay calm, relaxed and apply rational algorithms to different situations in order to save patients lives,” he said.
“When you’re on the field in front of 80,000 people and everyone’s yelling at you, you’ve got to stay calm, you’ve got to analyze different scenarios and apply the algorithm of the protection on that play.”
Born in Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Duvernay-Tardif signed a five-year contract worth over $40 million with the Chiefs in November 2016, which he has called a great vote of confidence from the team.
His two lives sometimes intersect, as his teammates ask him medical advice for their football injuries.
“All the time, it’s kind of funny because at the end of the day, I’m a medical student and there’s a lot of doctors in the dressing room. I try to stay away from making diagnoses,” said Duvernay-Tardif.
The NFL star also launched his Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Foundation this summer to promote physical activity among children.
In June, he unveiled a re-purposed school bus that will tour the province and put on sports days at different schools.
He will be back in Montreal next off-season to complete his medical degree — he says, hopefully wearing a Super Bowl ring.
“I’m on track to pass the LMCC exam next May. So, anywhere between February and May I’m going to be here studying in small group sessions,” Duvernay-Tardif said.
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