This is amazing.
Vanderbilt University will have its first Black female resident in its neurosurgery residency program after more than a century.
Tamia Potter is the first Black woman to accept a neurosurgery position at the university's medical center in Nashville. The 26-year-old found out where she would be doing her residency training on March 17, also known as National Match Day among medical students.
In an interview with CNN, Potter said she was stunned when she first saw the match, and very relieved and excited to begin the next chapter of her life.
“Everything that I’m doing, everything that I’m learning, everything that I experience is for the betterment of someone else,” Potter said.
The latest data from the Association of American Medical Colleges shows that only 5.7% of physicians in the United States identify themselves as Black or African American. According to the association's annual report, in 2018, only 33 Black women worked in neurosurgery in the United States.
According to Dr. Reid Thompson, chair of Vanderbilt University's Department of Neurological Surgery, Vanderbilt's first neurosurgery resident was trained in 1932, making Potter the first Black woman to join in 91 years. In a statement, Thompson said he and his colleagues were impressed by Potter's "brilliance and passion for neurosurgery" during her summer visit.
Potter graduated summa cum laude from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. According to US News & World Report's 2022-23 ranking, Florida A&M was the top historically Black college or university.
In an interview with CNN, she said being a FAMU alumna proves that an HBCU can help you “attain every single thing that you want to and make your dreams come true.”
When she was in medical school, Potter met a Black woman neurosurgeon for the first time, and she said that experience inspired her to believe in herself, and her goal is to be a role model for the students who follow her.
Black women and girls like Tamia Potter deserve every opportunity to shine and succeed at their dreams. We love to see it!