The President of Brigham and Women’s Hospital Was Approached by the NFL

Betsy Nabel was asked to join the NFL as the league's chief medical officer.


photograph by PJ couture

Brigham and Women’s Hospital president Betsy Nabel is in high demand.

Nabel, who turns 63 this month, is also a cardiologist, and has been known to have more than a dozen meetings in a day. Now, she may be adding “NFL consultant” to her already long list of credentials.

Originally, Bloomberg reported that Nabel has been offered and accepted a position as the NFL’s “chief medical officer,” a newly created job that would certainly come with a lot of work, considering all the concussion health studies and lawsuits the NFL is in the middle of right now. By even creating the position—duties would include overseeing the NFL’s medical policies and continually updating the league’s health and safety guidelines—at least shows that the NFL is listening and wants to make football safer for its players.

But, Nabel was quick to squash the report, saying instead that she’s been talking to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about serving in an “advisory capacity.”

In a statement, Goodell said that there’s a lot of work to do when it comes to player’s health and safety. “Carefully reviewing and approving our concussion protocols will be a focus of our medical committees this offseason,” he said in a statement. When it comes to choosing the new chief medical officer, Goodell said the position will be filled soon.

“This individual, who we expect to have in place very soon, will oversee our medical-related policies, ensure that we update them regularly, and work closely with our medical committees, our advisers, and the Players’ Association,” Goodell said in the statement.

Below, Nabel’s statement, which was posted to the hospital’s Facebook page: