Myron Rolle, a former NFL safety with the Tennessee Titans is now a doctor working 24-hour ER shifts helping to treat and diagnose coronavirus patients. He volunteered to treat COVID-19 patients as a third-year neurosurgery resident at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.
“You get in early, at 4 or 5 a.m. and sometimes that 24 hours extends because you have some extra paperwork to finish up before you head home and pass off to the next resident who takes over for 24 hours,” Rolle said.
In the wake of the pandemic, Rolle has volunteered for shifts in the COVID-19 surge clinic at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital, a leading hospital in a state that is dealing with more than 12,000 cases of the virus.
Rolle had goals of making it to the NFL and becoming a neurosurgeon. By the time Rolle was a high school senior, he was ranked as ESPN’s No. 1 football recruit for the class of 2006. Transitioning from a professional athlete to Harvard-educated neurosurgeon on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic was seamless.
“That comes from my football background, where adjustment and adaptation happen on the fly within a game,” Rolle told CNBC Make It.
“You never know what the other opponent is going to throw at you so in order [to be ready], you need to be able to be flexible. We all have to do that and I think it’s something that we’re all embracing and doing the best we can.”
The 33-year-old, who had always wanted to be a neurosurgeon, was named a Rhodes Scholar in 2008, during his junior year. He studied at Oxford University on a full scholarship.
After completing Oxford in 2010, Rolle was eligible for the NFL draft. He was selected by the Tennessee Titans in the sixth round. After three years, he retired to go back to medicine.
“You make decisions not just that behoves you but the people around you,” he stated. “You rise but allow others to rise. …If you have a choice between going to Oxford and becoming a draft pick, you choose Oxford, not only because you’re acquiring intellectual capital for yourself but because you’re allowing other people to see your story, so they think, ‘I can be a Rhodes Scholar, too’”.
Today, instead of removing brain tumors, Rolle is now tasked with getting patients’ oxygen saturation levels up. Rolle works 24-hour shifts at the hospital as an emergency room doctor treating patients who come off the streets with COVID-19-like symptoms.
“I’m capable of covering any ICU or the emergency department if necessary,” he said.