HBCU grad becomes first Black female neurosurgeon resident at Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University

Tamia Potter is currently going viral on social media for a groundbreaking reason. The 2018 Florida A&M University graduate just became the first Black woman to ever become a neurosurgeon resident at Vanderbilt University.

On Friday (March 17), Potter shared the news on Twitter. “My first job was a certified nursing assistant at 17 years old in 2014. Today, on March 17, 2023, I was blessed to be selected as the first African American female neurosurgery resident to train at [Vanderbilt University Medical Center for neurosurgery].” Since the Friday upload, her post has received over 11,000 likes, and she’s received countless messages of support.

“Tamia Potter has made HISTORY as the FIRST African American woman to train at Vanderbilt for neurosurgery. I am so proud and more importantly, I am INSPIRED!! Keep making history, Tamia! Little Black girls, like myself, are watching you,” one person wrote. Another said, “Congrats! Be careful stepping on all that glass around you from the broken ceiling!” Potter shared a series of photos and videos from the historic day. In one, she stood anxiously awaiting as a loved one opened a sealed envelope. After being told she was accepted into the program, Potter and others in the group screamed with excitement.

Another clip showed Potter graciously choked up after an individual on a phone call confirmed she was the first Black woman to train at Vanderbilt’s neurosurgery department. The reveal came on “National Match Day” when medical students throughout the United States are matched to a specialty and residency for training. After receiving her bachelor’s in chemistry at FAMU, Potter received a full scholarship for Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine in Ohio. Only two other individuals were also selected for the Nashville, Tennessee program for this year, Alan Tang and Freddy Vallejo.

See supporters giving Potter praises below.

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