The NFL joined forces with the NFL Physicians Society (NFLPS) and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS) to announce the league-wide expansion of the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative.
The Steelers are one of the teams participating, with Warren Austin, who is in his third year at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, taking part beginning in August. Austin, who is from Pittsburgh, is focused on orthopedics and will complete a one-month clinical rotation with the team's medical staff.
This is the second year for the initiative, which aims to increase and diversify the pipeline of students interested in pursuing careers in sports medicine to help make a positive impact in the medical field and help to diversity NFL club medical staffs over time.
"Working toward diverse representation across all roles in our league continues to be a top priority, and this program helps us make a tangible impact to grow and bolster a pipeline of diverse sports medicine professionals," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "We know that diversity makes us stronger at every level, and we look forward to welcoming the 2023 class to our player care teams at clubs across the league."
From the NFL:
Diverse medical students in-training, including those training to become sports medicine-focused physicians, are historically underrepresented. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, enrollment of diverse students is increasing. During the 2022-23 academic year, "the number of Black or African American matriculants increased by 9%," and "matriculants who are Hispanic, Latino, or of Spanish origin increased by 4%," while "American Indian or Alaska Native matriculants declined by 9%." The NFL's Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative is expanding to provide more students with an interest in sports medicine exposure and opportunities in the field.
The NFL, NFLPS and PFATS are committed to continuing their work to increase diversity in
As the program continues to grow, the league aims to further expand the pipeline initiative in the coming years to include additional disciplines, spanning additional roles in the NFL's player care "Team Behind the Team" including physician assistants, certified athletic trainers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nutritionists and behavioral health clinicians.
The Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative is part of the league's broader commitment to ensure that staff and leaders in the league office and at NFL clubs reflect the racial and gender makeup of America. Among NFL club medical staffs, the initiative builds on existing efforts to recruit and hire diverse medical staff when positions become available across all roles, and to increase diversity across NFL medical committees.