An HBCU alumna has become Vanderbilt’s first Black woman neurosurgery resident

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 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.

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