From Football Safety to Neurosurgeon

- [Narrator] This Great Big Story was made possible by Wells Fargo. Established 1852, re-established 2018. (jaunty music) This is Myron. - Hi. - [Narrator] Myron is an athlete. - I played a little football in college. - [Narrator] And ... - I was a Rhodes Scholar. - [Narrator] And ... - I played for the NFL. - [Narrator] And ... - I have a Master's degree in Medical Anthropology. - [Narrator] And ... - And, I'm a neurosurgeon. - [Narrator] Sheesh. - My first dream was to play professional football. There's no question. I was very active as a young man, and I knew that I was pretty good at it. When I got to the fifth grade, that's when I knew I wanted to pursue my second dream. I read a book called Gifted Hands by Ben Carson, who looked like me-he was black- who came from a similar socioeconomic background as me. We didn't have much money when we left the Bahamas and came to America, and the more I read about it the more I knew that once I was done playing football, neurosurgery was gonna be the pathway and the second chapter of my life. I was the number one-rated high school player in the country for football-recruited by everyone- 83 scholarship offers. I always felt that football fed academics, academics fed football. - [Narrator] Myron spent his college years playing football and shadowing doctors. He graduated in two and a half years and was expected to be a first or second round draft pick in the NFL with a multi-million dollar contract, but he also had a chance to study at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. - I ended up deciding to go to Oxford and saying no to the NFL. I spent a year and a half over there. I came back to the United States, went into the draft and got drafted in the sixth round instead of the second or first, made $70,000 instead of six million. Played for three years, got out healthy, felt good about my time there, and, frankly, made enough money to pay for medical school. I didn't have any lasting concussions, and my hands were okay to where I was able to do surgery in the operating room; and so I left on my own volition. Started medical school, and here I am now. - [Narrator] Since head injuries are common on the football field, Myron works to impress the importance of avoiding concussions on young players. But for Myron, his days of tackling are behind him. - Football was great for that season of my life, but now this is it. This is the pinnacle. This is where I belong, and I've told my parents several times over and over again. They ask me, "Myron, how do you feel "what you're doin' now? "How do you feel?" I said, "Mommy and Daddy, I feel like this "is where I belong." - [Patient] So, did you say you played a sport before? - [Myron] Yes, I played football. (soft ambient music)