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Olympic gold medal-winning soccer player is now a doctor who helps treat coronavirus patients

Soccer star-turned doctor treating COVID-19 patients
Soccer star-turned doctor treating COVID-19 p... 01:24

The fight against the coronavirus is like none we've ever seen before, but one frontline doctor knows something about tough battles. During her professional soccer career, Rachel Buehler Van Hollebeke competed in the World Cup and earned two Olympic gold medals. Now, instead of dribbling the ball, she juggles patients at a San Diego-area hospital.

When asked what traits or skills she brought to medicine from soccer, Van Hollebeke responded, "Teamwork. Understanding your role on a team. That work ethic, that determination really translates."

Van Hollebeke graduated from medical school just before COVID-19 gained traction. The family medicine resident is already seeing the crisis first-hand.

"I don't want to be like a fearful person, but it is a very real disease and it is very dangerous," she said. "Every patient encountered, you're prepared in case somebody is COVID positive."

Rachel Buehler Van Hollebeke
Rachel Buehler Van Hollebeke is now a doctor working in the San Diego area. CBS News

Medicine is in Van Hollebeke's blood. She follows three generations of doctors, including her father, and now, even her little sister.

"It just makes me feel proud that I've had a family that has really given a lot back to society, to humanity and caring for people," she said.

Now, Dr. Van Hollebeke is a role model in two fields.

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