As a fourth-year medical student at Thomas Jefferson University’s Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Azra Dees is one of only 30 people in the United States selected for the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative. The NFL developed the program to encourage medical students from diverse backgrounds to consider careers in sports medicine.
Azra Dees has always been passionate about sports and medicine. She grew up as a lifelong Eagles fan and dreams of one day working for her hometown team. However, she knows that her interest in sports medicine started when she was a young dancer. She did jazz, tap, ballet, and even tried to do basketball and volleyball at the same time. From a young age, she understood the important connection between sports and medicine.
As an African American woman in the field of orthopedic surgery, Azra Dees knows that diversity is important. The American Medical College said under 2% of orthopedic surgeons are Black, and even fewer are Black women. Azra believes that it’s crucial to change that statistic, especially for treating professional football players who often look like her or other players of color.
For her training rotation, Azra was placed with the New York Jets to get firsthand experience working in an NFL club setting. She found it fascinating to work alongside professionals who were taking care of patients who looked like them. It was also beneficial for her learning as she gained valuable insights into how patients were managed in an NFL setting.
Stephanie Stahl is an Emmy Award-winning health reporter who can be seen daily on CBS News Philadelphia and Philly57.
Overall, Azra believes that diversity is essential for treating all patients equally and effectively, regardless of their race or ethnicity. With more people from diverse backgrounds entering the field of sports medicine, we can hope for better outcomes and more representation in this important area of healthcare.
In conclusion, Azra Dees is a trailblazer in the field of sports medicine who hopes to make a difference by increasing diversity within this industry. Her passion for sports and medicine combined with her dedication to making a positive impact on society make her an inspiring role model for many aspiring healthcare professionals.
As Stephanie Stahl continues to report on healthcare topics across Philadelphia and beyond, we will undoubtedly hear more about Azra’s journey towards becoming a successful medical professional in the world of sports medicine.