Former World Series champion to graduate from medical school a month early to fight coronavirus

Jack BaerWriter
Yahoo Sports

Mark Hamilton probably didn’t see his medical career starting like this.

[ Coronavirus: How the sports world is responding to the pandemic ]

Once a brief member of the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals in 2011, Hamilton is set to graduate from Hofstra University’s Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine a month early to join the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Associated Press.

The desperate measure comes amid the desperate time of the coronavirus, with hospitals across the country desperate for as much personnel help as they can get.

Hamilton is reportedly set to join the Long Island Jewish Medical Center and North Shore University Hospital in the Northwell Health system, working as a first-year resident and spending elective weeks in the ICU. Long-term, Hamilton plans to work in interventional radiology.

From the AP:

“I could get the call tomorrow, that it’s time to go in,” Hamilton said this week. “I have had an incredible journey to becoming a doctor over the last four years, and not once did I think that I would find myself entering the field in a time like this.”

“Over both my careers, it’s the same thing. You’ve got a job to do, you’re needed, do them to the best of your ability,” he said.

That’s quite a transition from Hamilton’s old life as a professional baseball player who saw action in two MLB seasons with the Cardinals. Hamilton only hit a career .197/.258/.246 in 66 career plate appearances, but he did get a ring with the Cardinals and even supplied the winning hit in one game.

Mark Hamilton's post-retirement plans have taken him into the coronavirus fight. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Mark Hamilton's post-retirement plans have taken him into the coronavirus fight. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

It apparently isn’t a huge surprise Hamilton entered the field of medicine. His father was reportedly the longtime head of pathology and laboratory medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and now holds the same position at the City of Hope Center in in Los Angeles County.

He also won’t be alone as a former professional athlete fighting coronavirus.

Hamilton’s not the only ex-pro athlete fighting coronavirus

Also out there treating coronavirus patients is former Tennessee Titans safety Myron Rolle, who famously left the NFL to attend medical school in 2013.

Seven years later, Rolle is a third-year neurosurgery resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, as documented by The Nashville Tennesseean. With many neurological procedures put on hold as COVID-19 slams the hospital, Rolle reportedly volunteered for a surge clinic that would triage patients with symptoms.

From The Tennesseean:

“Obviously, neurosurgery is not directly connected to this upper respiratory illness,” Rolle said. “But just like in football, if you're called to do something different that you weren't expecting, you adjust. You adapt. They’re showing us a new formation that we didn’t see on tape? You've got to hunker down and get the job done. In my opinion, this novel disease is something like that. A formation, a personnel package that we haven’t seen before. We have to meet the challenge, and I’m happy to be able to join the fight.”

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