'Doctors can't be truly independent serving two masters - the player and the team'

Harvard's Glenn Cohen and Dr Mick Molloy discuss the notion that team doctors can never be totally independent.

A new report from Harvard University proposes drastic changes in the way health care is administered in the NFL.

The report is called 'Protecting and Promoting the Health of NFL Players'.

The two-year study bills itself as the first of its kind in “examining the complicated and often-paradoxical universe of stakeholders that may influence NFL player health."

Professor Glenn Cohen, co-author of the report, joined George Hook on High Noon today to discuss the findings.  They were also joined by Dr Mick Molloy, himself chairman of Rugby League in Ireland, who has also served as team doctor to clubs and provinces in Rugby Union to give the rugby perspective on this.

Cohen insists that players are treated by people who are well-meaning, don’t get me wrong, but operate in a structure that’s infected with a structural conflict of interest. That conflict of interest is that they serve two people — they serve the player and the serve the team.

The report also quotes an unnamed player who says that some players don’t trust doctors because they work for the team.

Molloy wasn't sure if it would be entirely accurate to say that doctors are compromised when it comes to judging a rugby player's fitness to play.  It's more complicated than simply 'yes' or 'no'.

Listen to the full interview below.