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Working with Bills this summer a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ for Jacobs School student

Moriah Martindale featured on a poster for the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline initiative.

Rising third-year UB medical student Moriah Martindale, a participant in the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative, begins her rotation with the Buffalo Bills when training camp opens later this month.


Published July 1, 2024

“This is both a unique and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hopefully see a glimpse into what my future could hold as I pursue a career in sports medicine. ”
Moriah Martindale, rising third-year medical student
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

To say that Moriah Martindale, a rising third-year UB medical student, is looking forward to working with the Buffalo Bills this summer is probably an understatement.

Martindale is one of just 29 medical students nationwide who were chosen to participate in the third year of the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative, a joint program of the NFL Physicians Society and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society. Launched in 2022, the league-wide program aims to increase and diversify the pipeline of students interested in pursuing careers in sports medicine and, over time, help to diversify NFL club medical staffs.

“As someone who has been following this program since its start in 2022, I am incredibly excited to be a part of the 2024 class of the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative,” says Martindale. “This is both a unique and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hopefully see a glimpse into what my future could hold as I pursue a career in sports medicine.”

Martindale will do her rotation under the supervision of Leslie J. Bisson, June A. and Eugene R. Mindell, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedics in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and medical director for the Bills. 

“Moriah’s selection for this opportunity was aided by her strong performance in orthopedic research, including her focus on improving care for historically underserved groups,” says Bisson.

Martindale is past president of the Jacobs School chapter of the Student National Medical Association, the national organization committed to supporting current and future underrepresented medical students.

She was always interested in sports. In high school, Martindale played basketball and tennis, and served as co-captain of the girls varsity tennis team during her senior year.

“Unfortunately, my final season came to an early and abrupt end after I ruptured my Achilles tendon during a match,” she says.

After undergoing surgery, she got her first glimpses into orthopedic surgery and sports medicine as a patient.

Despite the injury and no longer being able to participate in competitive play, she still gravitated toward sports at Binghamton University, where she majored in integrative neuroscience. She played tennis and flag football recreationally and minored in health and wellness. She so enjoyed her “Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries” course that she decided to pursue a yearlong sports medicine internship with Binghamton’s Division 1 athletic program during her senior year.

That experience involved supporting a wide variety of sports, including basketball, tennis, soccer and lacrosse. At the end of the internship, the athletic training staff named her the 2018 Student Athletic Trainer of the Year.

“I am looking forward to not only working with the team physicians and athletic trainers of the Buffalo Bills, but also being able to understand how every individual on the medical, training and performance staffs works collaboratively to keep some of our nation’s best athletes safe and ready for play,” she says. “I hope to expand my medical skillset and to gain insight and mentorship from those who have been able to pave their way into and thrive within the NFL.”

Students from 21 medical schools, including the Jacobs School, have been matched with NFL clubs across the league for one-month clinical rotations focused on primary care sports medicine and/or orthopedic surgery. The rotations provide students with the opportunity to learn from and work directly with club medical staff as they deliver care to players across the league. Student clinical rotations will begin as training camps open for the 2024 NFL season later this month.

During the summer rotation, medical students work directly with the orthopedic team physicians, primary care team physicians, athletic trainers, dietitians, mental health clinicians, strength and conditioning coaches, equipment managers and other members of the club medical staff to gain basic medical knowledge and exposure to patient care in sports medicine.