NFL Team Doctors: In Whose Interest? image

Radio Health Journal, February 5, 2017
Nancy Benson, interviewing I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

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From the interview:

Injured NFL players are treated by doctors employed by teams, but a Harvard study claims there is an inherent conflict of interest in that arrangement, which might mean putting players on the field before they’re recovered. One of the study’s co-authors discusses.

Nancy Benson: No team gets through an entire NFL season without injuries. So when the super bowl kicks off, neither lineup will be completely the way it’s coaches would like. But will there be players on the field who shouldn’t be? Will some be playing even though they’re hurt, risking additional pain and perhaps disability in pursuit of a win? It’s not the player who decides that, it’s the team’s medical staff.

Glenn Cohen: The collective bargaining agreement in the NFL and various side letters require each club or team a board certified orthopedic surgeon, at least one physician board certified internal medicine, family medicine and emergency medicine. And they have to have certificates for the added qualification of sports medicine. In addition, clubs are required to retain consultants in the neurological, cardiovascular, nutritional and neuropsychological field and typically there’s a Head Club Doctor.

Read more and listen to the full interview here!

bioethics football players health study health law policy i. glenn cohen research