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Chiefs lineman becomes first active NFL player to hold medical degree

02 June 2018

On Tuesday, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif added a new line to a resume that already includes his occupation as a player for the Kansas City Chiefs - his graduation from McGill Medical School makes him a physician.

Duvernay-Tardif has engaged in a balancing act during the past four years, moving back and forth between Kansas City and his studies in Montreal.

Duvernay-Tardif had planned to become a doctor long before he planned to be professional football player. Now, that can all stop, as Duvernay-Tardif told ESPN recently.

"It's the combination of National Football League careers sometimes being short and loving medicine", Duvernay-Tardif said.

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"Since the day I got drafted, I promised myself I was going to finish my studies and get that MD while I was still playing", Duvernay-Tardif said recently.

Reid might have been more understanding than some coaches because his mother, Elizabeth, also graduated from McGill's medical school.

'This is it!' Duvernay-Tardif tweeted Tuesday.

"Football is an awesome opportunity in the sense that not everyone can play football and live off of that, but being a doctor is more than that". You get to change things, you get to treat people.

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But even though he has a list of accomplishments that includes being one of just a dozen N.F.L. players ever selected from Canada's university football ranks and signing a $41.25 million contract in 2017, it's clear that graduating medical school is much more meaningful for Duvernay-Tardif than anything that happens on the field.

It's been a meteoric rise for Duvernay-Tardif, a converted defensive lineman who cracked the Chiefs' 53-man roster as a rookie before becoming a starter in 2015.

"With the NFL's rules regarding dress code being so strict I'm not sure how well it's going to go", he said. It's an honour to be a member of that community and I take the responsibility seriously.

The next step in Duvernay-Tardif's budding medical career is completing a residency program at a hospital, where he'd get the chance to work directly with patients in a specialty area of medicine.

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Chiefs lineman becomes first active NFL player to hold medical degree