Tamia Potter, an alumna of HBCU, has become the first black female resident surgeon at Vanderbilt University’s residency program in 148 years of the institution’s history.
The 26-year-old medical student from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine learned the news of getting “matched” to Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennesee, on March 17, which is known as “match day” to medical students in the United States, when thousands of students learn where they will do their residency training.
Potter announced 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],” she wrote.
“Everything that I’m doing, everything that I’m learning, everything that I experience is for the betterment of someone else,” Potter later told CNN.
“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.”
According to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges, only 5.7% of physicians in United States identify as Black or African American.