Former NFL safety Myron Rolle made perhaps the biggest career switch one could think of when he left the league in 2013 to go to medical school. But now, as a neurosurgery resident at Massachusetts General Hospital during the coronavirus pandemic, he is in the middle of another one.

“As neurosurgeons, we know how to take out brain tumors and fix spines, but this is something that’s new to us,” said Dr. Rolle.

To make room for an influx of patients, MGH recently converted its entire neurosurgery floor into a wing dedicated to COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Rolle told Jim Braude on WGBH News’ Greater Boston he and his colleagues have had to learn a whole new way of practicing medicine in order to keep up.

“It’s vastly different,” he said. “Nevertheless, these are people who need help and need the manpower. … All the effort we can provide, to this hospital and this effort, is what we wanna do.

“We also have to protect ourselves,” Rolle added, noting that while his hospital has been able to make do so far with the personnel and personal protective equipment they already have, smaller community hospitals are feeling a much greater strain from the coronavirus.

Rolle said his time in the NFL, and many years of training before that, prepared him to tackle this epidemic head-on.

“I think my training, being an athlete my whole life, basically since I was six years old, has given me the traits and characteristics to mitigate pressure, stay calm, listen to instructions, take coaching, go back to your fundamentals and focus on the team goal” of mitigating the disease, he said.

But that goal is still a long way off, and Rolle said it’s unlikely that his former league or the other major professional sports organizations — which have all been on hold, due to the coronavirus — will start up again anytime soon.

“I’d be shocked to see the N.B.A. continue, the N.F.L. have a season in the fall, any sports leagues to continue, and I think that’s for good reason,” he said. “You need to protect your fans, protect your players and put America’s health as a premium.”