Myron L. Rolle
Medical student, Florida State University
One of the more anticipatory moments of my life was the 2010 National Football League Draft. I sat on the couch in my home alongside my parents and brothers. There were camera crews from the NFL Network and ESPN crowded inside our small living room. My phone was ringing off the hook with nervous friends providing their brand of support. My agent reassured me that teams were still interested in me. Twitter even had me as a trending topic: Where will Myron Rolle, the Rhodes Scholar and Florida State All-American Safety, get drafted? It was a good question. One for which I had no answer. Then, alas, on the third day of that draft, I received a call from a 615 area code. It was Jeff Fisher, Head Coach of the Tennessee Titans. He asked me if I was ready to join the squad. I exclaimed, “Absolutely, sir!” It was a dream come true to be drafted and play professional football. I had been playing the sport since I was six-years-old and I had become the number one ranked high school player in the U.S. My cousins, Samari and Antrel Rolle, had extensive careers in the NFL. My daddy founded the Commonwealth American Football League back home in our country of the Bahamas. To get drafted that special day was the reward for years of hard work. Unequivocally.
Needless to say, football has been a part of my journey for a long time. But you see, there has been a parallel path that has traveled right next to football. This path will take me even farther, give me an even greater purpose and provide a way to help people and communities significantly. This path is neurosurgery.
My oldest brother Marchant gave me a book in the 5th grade called, “Gifted Hands” by pediatric neurosurgeon Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., MD. This book inspired me because I saw a hero in a man that looked like me and had a similar family story as me. Dr. Carson planted the seed of neurosurgery in my mind, but it truly blossomed after I spent two months as a first assist with another pediatric neurosurgeon named Phillip B. Storm, MD, FAANS at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Storm and I did clival chordoma resections, moyamoya cases, ventriculoperitoneal shunts and spinal deformities. Dr. Storm had a sincere manner with his patients, and they often returned to him 10 years later thanking him for his care. I would go home from the operating room every day feeling energized like I had made 14 tackles, two interceptions and scooped up a fumble for a game-winning touchdown. That is how pumped up I was, and that was the moment I knew this calling was truly mine.
So now it is 2017 and another anticipatory moment is one week away — Match Day! Similar to the NFL draft, I will be nervous, excited, sitting alongside my family and receiving calls from supportive friends. The camera crews probably won’t make it, but that is just fine. Matching into neurosurgery will be another dream come true. And when the chairman of my destined program calls and asks me if I am ready to join the department, I will exclaim — with the same vigor I did seven years ago — “Absolutely, sir!”
Editor’s Note: To read more about Myron’s journey to neurosurgery click here and here. On March 17, 2017, Myron matched to Massachusetts General Hospital. We wish him all the best during his neurosurgical residency!