Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif graduated from medical school on Tuesday and officially became an MD.
A starting offensive guard for the Chiefs since 2015, Duvernay-Tardif was heavily invested in his continued education in the offseason near his home in Montreal.
A sixth-round pick in 2014, Duvernay-Tardif pulled double duty the past four years, attending McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine while also playing in the NFL. He walked in his ceremony Tuesday wearing a white lab coat bearing the block letters: DR DUVERNAY-TARDIF and his number, 76, in the Chiefs’ trademark red and yellow.
“Since the day I got drafted, I promised myself I was going to finish my studies and get that MD while I was still playing,” Duvernay-Tardif said. “It’s one of those life projects that you promise yourself you’re going to accomplish, and I’m on the verge of doing it, so I’m pretty excited.
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
“But right now, football is my main priority. I want to focus and see how good I can be. I’m putting medicine on hold in order to really maximize my opportunity in the NFL. I love playing football. For all of those who sometimes doubt that I really want to be here because I’ve got a medical degree, having a really strong Plan B and still playing football shows how much I really love the game. I love being out there with the guys. I love the chemistry we have in the locker room. Being out there is a privilege.”
For now, the NFL remains the frontburner career for Duvernay-Tardif.
“Getting drafted into the NFL was way more intense,” Duvernay-Tardif said. “When you get drafted, it almost feels like a surprise. You don’t know which team you’re going to, so it’s really intense and really emotional at that specific moment. With regards to medicine, it’s more like a marathon. I’ve been doing it for the past eight years, and it was always that vision.
“Every time the season was over and I was driving back to Montreal, and I was getting back into medical school while everybody else was enjoying their offseason, I was motivating myself with the thought of pushing through because it’s going to be worth it in the end. Nobody can take that from me. When I graduate, I’m going to be a doctor for life.”
This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.