For the first time, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston will participate in the National Football League’s (NFL) 2023 Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative, which aims to increase and diversify the pipeline of students interested in pursuing careers in sports medicine and, over time, to help diversify NFL club medical staffs.
Analisa Narro, a fourth-year student at McGovern Medical School, has been selected to complete a clinical rotation with the Houston Texans, set to begin when training camp opens next week. During the one-month rotation, Narro will observe and participate in the care of players, working directly with and under the supervision of orthopedic team physicians, primary care team physicians, and athletic trainers. Additionally, students will become familiar with return-to-play guidelines and on-field treatment considerations for NFL players.
“I am excited to be given this amazing opportunity to learn about sports medicine at the highest level during my final year of medical school,” said Narro, a third-generation American from San Antonio, whose family is originally from Mexico. “Being someone who has played sports my entire life from basketball to powerlifting, and as someone who is applying to orthopedic surgery, this unique experience is truly a dream come true! Likewise, I am excited to see how big of an impact this pipeline program can make on the diversity we see within the field of sports medicine and beyond.”
The NFL initiative, now in its second year, marks a collaborative effort with the NFL Physicians Society and the Professional Football Athletic Trainer Society. Last year’s pilot program hosted 14 students at eight NFL clubs. This season, the program is expanding league-wide to more than double the number of students. 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.
LaTanya J. Love, MD, dean of education at McGovern Medical School and executive vice president of student affairs and diversity at UTHealth Houston, said the university is delighted that Analisa will be able to participate in the program.
“We are grateful for partnerships that allow us to expose our students to a diversity of careers within medicine,” Love said. “Analisa has been a wonderful student, and we hope to see her as a future leader in sports medicine and orthopedic surgery.”
Sponsoring Narro during her rotation is James Muntz, MD, professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery with McGovern Medical School and the Houston Texans’ internal medicine team physician.
“In general, sports medicine is pretty hard to break through, so being able to give our students exposure to this particular field is a huge win,” Muntz said. “From our perspective, this is the tip of the iceberg for what can happen with diversity in medicine.”
Overall, the initiative seeks to help students gain medical knowledge and exposure to patient care in sports medicine. Narro’s rotation with the Houston Texans will take place from July 24 through August 18, 2023.
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