Vanderbilt welcomes 1st Black woman into neurosurgery residency

Tamia Potter made history by matching with Vanderbilt University Medical Center's neurological surgery program on March 17. She is the first Black woman to be selected by the unit, which began over 90 years ago, VUMC confirmed to Becker's

After she receives her doctorate from Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University in May, she will join the Nashville, Tenn.-based medical center. 

"We were immediately impressed by her brilliance and passion for neurosurgery. We are thrilled that Dr. Potter will be training with us," Reid Thompson, MD, professor and chair of Vanderbilt's neurological surgery department, told Becker's. "Vanderbilt trained its first neurosurgery resident in 1932. She is the first Black woman to join our Neurosurgery residency, and she joins a diverse group of 21 remarkably dedicated physicians — all destined to be future leaders in our field."

On Twitter, she said her first job was in 2014 as a 17-year-old certified nursing assistant. 

"Today on March 17th, 2023, I was blessed to be selected as the first African American female neurosurgery resident to train at @VUMC_Neurosurg," she tweeted, alongside videos of her celebrating the news. 

There are 33 Black women in the neurosurgical specialty in the U.S., reported, citing data from the American Society of Black Neurosurgeons.

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