Tamia Potter has made history as the first Black woman to be accepted into Vanderbilt University’s neurosurgery residency program, nearly a century after the program began.
According to Potter, 26, learned of her acceptance on March 17, also known as National Match Day for medical students, when they are informed where they will do their residency training. She is grateful for the opportunity and excited to enter the next phase of her career after years of schooling.
On March 17, Potter shared the exciting news along with several photos and videos on her Twitter. She wrote, “My first job was a certified nursing assistant at 17 years old in 2014. Today on March 17th, 2023 I was blessed to be selected as the first African American female neurosurgery resident to train at @VUMC_Neurosurg.”
My first job was a certified nursing assistant at 17 years old in 2014.
Today on March 17th, 2023 I was blessed to be selected as the first African American female neurosurgery resident to train at @VUMC_Neurosurg .#Match2023 #Neurosurgery #BlackGirlMagic pic.twitter.com/4tizYmzDpB
— Tamia Potter (@PotterTamia) March 17, 2023
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Potter graduated summa cum laude in 2018 from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), which was the highest-ranked public historically Black college or university in US News & World Report’s 2022-23 ranking.
Only about 5.7% of physicians in the US are Black or African American, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The lack of diversity in the field is also evident in the neurosurgical specialty, with only 33 Black women practicing in the US in 2018, as reported by the association in 2019. Potter’s acceptance into the neurosurgery program at Vanderbilt is a major milestone in addressing the lack of representation and diversity in medicine.
Dr. Reid Thompson, chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at Vanderbilt, described Potter as “brilliant and passionate” about the field during her visit to the school last summer.
As the first Black woman in Vanderbilt’s neurosurgery residency program, Potter sets an important precedent for future generations of Black women in medicine.