Vanderbilt Has Its First Black Woman Neurosurgery Resident

FAMU Grad Tamia Potter Becomes First Black Woman Neurosurgery Resident At Vanderbilt University

An HBCU grad shattered a new glass ceiling after a successful Match Day last week. Tamia Potter is the first Black woman neurosurgeon resident at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

According to CNN, the Tennessee-based University trained its first neurosurgeon resident in 1932, which means Potter is the first Black woman in the program’s 91-year existence. It’s unclear if she’s the first Black woman to be offered the position, but she is the first to accept.

“Everything that I’m doing, everything that I’m learning, everything that I experience is for the betterment of someone else,” she told CNN. 

RELATED: Harvard University Elects Claudine Gay As First Black President!

Potter learned about her historic match on March 17. The date was National Match Day–when medical students discover where they’ll be doing their residency training. This year was the largest match results in the National Resident Matching Program’s 70-year history, per their website. There were over 42,000 applicants and just 40,375 certified positions to be filled.

Tamai graduated from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) with a bachelor’s degree in 2018. She was named summa cum laude, graduating with the highest distinction. While sharing her career’s latest development on Twitter, Tami also revealed that she’s been interested in the medical field since she was a teen. She said her first job at 17 was as a certified nursing assistant.

Per CNN, Potter plans to finish her education at Case Western Reserve University Medical School in Ohio before starting her Vanderbilt residency

Potter also told the outlet being a FAMU alumna with a historic match proves that going to an HBCU doesn’t mean sacrificing quality. Instead, she said it’s possible to “attain every single thing you want to and make your dreams come true.” 

“A lot of people feel like when you go to an HBCU, you are sacrificing quality, and that is something that people should not believe,” Potter said.

Black Women Celebrate Match Day Across The U.S.

Though Tamia celebrated a colossal feat, she wasn’t the only Black woman shining on Match Day. The Shade Room highlighted nine additional women who shared their excitement at receiving their residency results this year.



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