Search
Close this search box.

An HBCU Alumna (Tamia Potter) Became Vanderbilt’s First Black Woman Neurosurgery Resident

Tamia Potter (courtesy Tamia Potter)
Tamia Potter (courtesy Tamia Potter)

*(CNN) — After close to a century, Vanderbilt University‘s neurosurgery residency program will have its first Black woman resident. Tamia Potter is the first Black woman to accept a spot in the neurosurgery position at the university’s medical center in Nashville, Tennessee.

The 26-year-old received the news on March 17 — better known to medical students as National Match Day, when thousands of graduate medical students learn where they will do their residency training for the next several years. Potter told CNN that she was incredulous when she first saw the match, and very relieved and excited to be entering the next chapter of her life after so many years of schooling.

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

Only about 5.7% of physicians in the United States identify as Black or African American, according to the latest data from the Association of American Medical Colleges. And a 2019 report by the association found there were only 33 Black women in the neurosurgical field in the United States in 2018.

Vanderbilt trained its first neurosurgery resident in 1932, making Potter the first Black woman to join in 91 years, according to Dr. Reid Thompson, a professor, and chair of the university’s Department of Neurological Surgery.

MORE NEWS ON EURWEB: Education Department to Cancel Student Loan Debt of Over 80,000 More Borrowers | WATCH

Tamia Potter (courtesy Tamia Potter)
Tamia Potter (courtesy Tamia Potter)

Thompson told CNN in a statement that he and his colleagues were immediately impressed by Potter’s “brilliance and passion for neurosurgery” when she visited the school last summer.

Potter graduated summa cum laude in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. The school was the highest-ranked public historically Black college or university in US News & World Report’s 2022-23 ranking.

She told CNN that being a FAMU alumna proves that it’s possible to go to an HBCU and “attain every single thing that you want to and make your dreams come true.”

Before she heads to Vanderbilt, Potter will finish her studies at Case Western Reserve University Medical School.

https://youtu.be/ze11JXY7l18

The first time Potter ever met a Black woman neurosurgeon was in medical school, Potter told CNN, and the representation was important because it pushed her to believe in herself. She added she hopes to be something similar for the students coming after her.

Potter knows some people will question her qualifications because of her race. “When you walk into the room, everybody thinks you’re a nurse, or they may think you’re a janitor,” she said.

She added: “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.”

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

We Publish News 24/7. Don’t Miss A Story. Click HERE to SUBSCRIBE to Our Newsletter Now!

Bhad Bhabie - blackfishing
Rihanna
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris / Getty
Tye Tribbett
LeBron James (Gary A Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports-Reuters)
Obama - Biden (Getty)
Kim Kardashian
Terrell Davis - Getty
Kamala Harris (Phoenix Awards) - GettyImages
Prince and Angela Floyd - screenshot
Thomas Matthew Crooks
Read More
Donald Trump shooting - bloody ear (screenshot)
Read More
Tejuana Johnson - via Facebook
Read More
Kobe and Joe Jellybean Bryant - screenshot
Read More
Donald Trump in Butler PA as shots are heard - screengrab
Read More
Donald Trump being rushed from stage in Butler PA
Read More
Sandra 'Pepa' Denton - Getty
Read More
Joy Reid - Amber Rose (MSNBC-Getty)
Read More
Amanda Seales (Getty)
Read More
Robin Allen as Miss Cleo - via Lifetime
Read More

POPULAR

Bhad Bhabie - blackfishing
Bhad Bhabie Reconciles with Ex-Boyfriend Despite Abuse Claims
Maile Brady, Wayne Brady, Mandie Taketa and Jason Fordham. MATT SAYLES/DISNEY
'Wayne Brady: The Family Remix' Looks Inside the Blended Brady Household | WATCH
Rihanna
Rihanna's Fenty Beauty Teams Up with 2024 Summer Games
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris / Getty
California Politicos React to Biden Ending Campaign and Endorsing Harris
Tye Tribbett
Tye Tribbett Shines at 2024 Stellar Gospel Music Awards with Multiple Wins
LeBron James (Gary A Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports-Reuters)
LeBron James Chosen as Men's Flagbearer for Paris 2024 Opening Ceremony
Obama - Biden (Getty)
Obama Offers Support After Biden Withdraws from 2024 Presidential Race
Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian Opens Up About Her Son's Vitiligo Diagnosis
Terrell Davis - Getty
United Airlines Apologizes to Terrell Davis After Wrongful Arrest and Harassment
1 2 3 8,198