You might think that once a football player makes it to the NFL, he’s set for life. But a person can play football only for so long. What happens afterward? Some players become TV stars or coaches. Others start their own businesses. But Laurent Duvernay-Tardif of the Kansas City Chiefs has another plan: He’ll be a doctor.
In fact, Laurent already graduated from medical school in May! How did he manage to do it while playing pro football? We talked to him about what it takes to have two challenging careers.
You made it to the NFL! Why did you want to study medicine too?
You can’t be a football player for life, but you can be a doctor for life. I wanted to show people that it was possible to go to school and play in the pros.
How did you make time for both?
I took all my classes in the off-season. Usually, medical school takes four years but it took me eight. I had to study a lot between games and practices. I was very busy!
Why do you think you succeeded?
I’m stubborn. I don’t give up once I start something. And I’m good at focusing. I set small goals for myself that I know I can achieve. For example, I tell myself I’ll read just one more chapter or do one more exercise at the gym.
What do football and medicine have in common?
Football is a team sport and so is medicine. You have to work with your team and trust them. If you try to do everything yourself, the result is never as good.
What advice would you give to a kid who is having trouble choosing between two activities?
Try them both out! And make sure that you’re not making a decision based on what your parents want or what your friends are doing. You’ll be better at whatever you do if you truly love it—and you’re doing it for yourself.