Your offensive lineman will see you now — Chiefs' Dr. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif to play in Super Bowl

Eric Oliver -  

When Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, MD, takes the field Sunday for the Kansas City Chiefs, he'll have to look after quarterback Patrick Mahomes' health, but not in the way you'd expect, CNN reports.

Dr. Duvernay-Tardif, 28, plays right guard for the Chiefs, but also holds a medical degree from Montreal-based McGill University. He is the first practicing physician to play in the NFL, and will soon become the first practicing physician to play in a Super Bowl.

The rarity of Dr. Duvernay-Tardif's situation does not escape him. He said: "I think I want people to see me as one of the best student athletes in the world. Of course you want to be the best football player. You want to be the best doctor. But to be able to combine both at the highest level ... I think that's my biggest accomplishment."

Dr. Duvernay-Tardif said the best moment in his life so far was when he earned his medical degree last year. He joked the Super Bowl might surpass it.

Teammate and fellow lineman Eric Fisher spoke highly of him: "He's a doctor. He's a football player. I think he's got two passions in life, and he's a professional in both of them. How many of us can say that? ... What he's accomplished up to this point in life is pretty amazing."

The Chiefs drafted Dr. Duvernay-Tardif in the sixth round of the 2014 draft. Coincidentally, Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid's mother also earned a medical degree from McGill. Mr. Reid acknowledged that Dr. Duvernay-Tardif had a long road to travel to make it to the NFL and earn his medical degree, but that "he worked his tail off" to get there.

Mr. Reid and the Chiefs gave Dr. Duvernay-Tardif their blessing to study medicine in the offseason to fulfill the requirements for his degree. He graduated in May 2018, wearing a custom white coat with his uniform lettering stitched on the back. Dr. Duvernay-Tardif is delaying his residency while he plays football. He intends to pursue emergency medicine in the future.

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