Medical student to work with Chicago Bears doctors in NFL diversity initiative

Medical student Aisha Suhaiba
Medical student Aisha Suhaiba will work with the Chicago Bears’ team of physicians as part of the Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative. (Photo: Hilary Domke/ UIC Creative and Digital Services)

Aisha Suhaiba, a fourth-year UIC medical student with a specialty interest in orthopedics, will spend August working with the Chicago Bears’ team of physicians and medical professionals.

Directly under the supervision of orthopedic team physicians, primary care team physicians and athletic trainers, Suhaiba will observe and participate in the care of Chicago Bears players to gain basic medical knowledge and exposure to patient care in sports medicine. She also will become familiar with return-to-play guidelines and on-field treatment considerations for National Football League athletes.

The clinical rotation is part of the NFL’s Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative for 2024.

“As a student who aspires to become an orthopedic surgeon, I do not think that there is a better way to understand what goes into the holistic care of the athlete than doing so at the highest level, and I am grateful to be able to do so through this program,” Suhaiba said. “I respect the NFL tremendously for creating this initiative, and I am proud to be a participant who will one day be able to show those who come after me what is possible, especially for Black women, as we currently comprise only 0.6% of all orthopedic surgeons.”

Launched in 2022, the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative is a joint program of the NFL, NFL Physicians Society and Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society. The initiative was developed to encourage medical students from diverse backgrounds to consider sports medicine careers.

For more information on the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative, visit the NFL website.

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