Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science students Kadarius Burgess and Felipe Ocampo to complete clinical rotations with Rams during the 2022 season

Recently, the NFL, the NFL Physicians Society (NFLPS), and the Professional Football Athletic Trainer Society (PFATS) announced the inaugural class of students participating in the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative. As part of that, Kadarius Burgess and Felipe Ocampo, both students at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, will complete clinical rotations with their medical staff this coming season.

“As a young person who had the opportunity to spend time with an NFL club and be exposed to the medical staff and everything they do, I was inspired to pursue a career in athletic training,” says Reggie Scott , PFATS President and Los Angeles Rams Vice President, Sports Medicine and Performance. “Today I’m excited to give back to the medical students and host two of them this fall and let them learn from my PFATS colleagues.”

Burgess and Ocampo are two of 14 students selected by their respective Historically Black College and University (HBCU) medical schools to participate in the club’s medical staff program this fall. Students’ clinical rotations will focus on frontline sports medicine and/or orthopedic surgery while being embedded in the medical staff of one of eight NFL teams: The Falcons, Bengals, Chargers, Rams, Giants, 49ers, Titans, and Commanders .

“I am grateful and excited to participate in the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Elective,” Burgess said. “This is a great opportunity that aligns perfectly with my career goals in orthopedic surgery. I’m excited to learn from world-class athletes and the experts who work together to care for them on and off the field. I think this experience will help To inspire more people of color who are underrepresented in careers such as medicine and other sports medicine, pursue such careers by seeing people similar to them achieve these goals.”

“My greatest hope through this experience is to inspire young people, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, to pursue professions like medicine, where they can do incredible things like sports medicine with the NFL,” Ocampo said. “Growing up, I never thought I could become a doctor. I didn’t know doctors, let alone how I could become one. I never thought I’d be in the position that I have and am getting now the chance to spend some time working alongside the LA Rams medical team.”

The month-long clinical rotations begin when the regular season begins in September and students will observe and participate in the care of NFL players. Students will also work directly with and under the supervision of the team orthopedic physicians, primary care physicians, and athletic trainers to gain basic medical knowledge and exposure to patient care in sports medicine.

Students also learn about return-to-game guidelines and on-field treatment considerations for players, and are allowed to attend home games and be on the sidelines for observation. At the end of the rotation, students will understand the basics of caring for NFL players through orthopedic, primary care sports medicine, and athletic training perspective.

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