Florida XC, T&F Alumni Lead Pandemic Frontlines

Michael Brian Till

Michael Brian Till has been a doctor for 19 years. During his time in the medical field, he admits that he's never seen or dealt with anything like the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I've never seen anything like what we're going through currently," he said. "I've mentioned several times to my patients that this is one more reminder that mother nature is more powerful than we are. Whether it's floods, tornadoes, hurricanes or now a virus, mother nature is powerful." 

Dr. Till, who was a state champion pole vaulter for Osceola High School in Kissimmee in 1991, works as a Family Physician in the Ascension Medical Group. Due to the pandemic, he and his practice have had to make adjustments to ensure the safety of his patients.

"We decided to have visits outside of the office to keep the inside of the building safe for patients and staff," he said. "COVID-19 has brought on unprecedented levels of illness in the community as well as fear and anxiety."

Dr. Till tries to find balance in his life to combat the stress of the pandemic as a healthcare provider. He also believes that the best way to combat the fears and concerns of his patients is to be honest with them.

"You have to be honest with all of your patients," he said. "Patients really like for me to have an opinion on things to help interpret the news..Sometimes it helps patients for you to put it in perspective that this is really a marathon that we're dealing with COVID-19 and not a sprint for a short period of time."

In addition to being a Family Physician, Till serves as the pole vault coach at Creekside High School. He was a member of the Florida State track and field team from 1993-1998. He says that the "never give up mantra" that he learned as an athlete has helped him during this pandemic.

"Every day we have to come in and do the very best we can for each patient we see," You never give up hope, you never give up your fighting spirit. Those are all the things you learn in sports such as track and field when I was a younger guy, and it still applies today to my current medical practice."