Laurent Duvernay-Tardif doesn’t have to worry about what he’s going to do when his NFL career is over.
Duvernay-Tardif, an excellent guard for the Kansas City Chiefs, has somehow been juggling professional football and medical school for many years and succeeding at both. He said he will graduate from McGill University’s medical school in Montreal on Tuesday.
Earlier this offseason Duvernay-Tardif said he wanted the NFL to allow him to add “M.D.” to the end of his name on his Chiefs jersey — which the NFL should allow without a second thought. He had been talking to the league office about the jersey change, and now he has a better argument since he’s officially a doctor.
Duvernay-Tardif announced on his Twitter feed that he’s going to graduate this week, and that’s worth telling the world about.
This is it! Today I become a doctor! It also marks the beginning of a great new adventure for all 2018 graduates of @mcgillu Faculty of Medicine. #LDTMD #graduation #passion #nfl #chiefs pic.twitter.com/j4oD1BCuXJ— Laurent D. Tardif (@LaurentDTardif) May 29, 2018
It’s a great accomplishment for anyone to graduate medical school, but most med students don’t juggle an NFL career. Duvernay-Tardif started in medical school in 2010, so this has been a long journey for him.
Splitting time between football and medicine
While the rest of the Chiefs took some time off after playoff losses each of the past two seasons, Duvernay-Tardif went right to medical school. He has said repeatedly during the past few years that the Chiefs and particularly coach Andy Reid have been great about allowing him to pursue his medical degree.
The Global News in Canada said Duvernay-Tardif’s schedule last summer was to treat patients while training in anesthesia during the morning, then in the afternoon he’d be in the gym to keep with his training schedule.
Duvernay-Tardif even found some similarities between his two professions.
“In an emergency department, you have to be able to stay calm, relaxed and apply rational algorithms to different situations in order to save patients lives,” Duvernay-Tardif told the Global News last summer. “When you’re on the field in front of 80,000 people and everyone’s yelling at you, you’ve got to stay calm, you’ve got to analyze different scenarios and apply the algorithm of the protection on that play.”
Duvernay-Tardif still in his NFL prime
It’s hard to decide what’s more amazing: That Duvernay-Tardif was able to become a doctor while playing professional football, or that he was able to become one of the NFL’s best guards while studying medicine.
Duvernay-Tardif has been a regular starter for a very good Chiefs team each of the past three seasons. When he starts his full-time career in medicine he’ll already have all those student loans paid off; Duvernay-Tardif signed a five-year deal worth more than $43 million in February of 2017.
Everyone in the NFL has an interesting tale. But Duvernay-Tardif’s story is fascinating, even by NFL standards.