Almost a year ago, Tamia Potter’s pinned post on Twitter introduced her as a rising fourth-year medical student. She was looking forward to connecting with colleagues and mentors. This March, Tamia made history when she became the first Black woman neurosurgery resident in a storied program based in Tennessee.
In one photo the twenty-something shared on social media, Tamia holds up her 2023 M.A.T.C.H. Results for the camera. “Congratulations, you have matched!” it reads. The institution’s name is Vanderbilt University Center, and the program is Neurological Surgery.
On its website, the National Resident Matching Program, better known as the Match, says the organization has placed U.S. medical school students into residency training programs in United States teaching hospitals since 1952.
Florida-born and raised, the Florida A&M University alumna wowed her >5,000 social media followers when she retweeted one of many stories that celebrated her history-making achievement as the first Black woman resident in Vanderbilt University’s neurosurgery residency program.
“Now THAT is Black Girl Magic,” wrote a major news outlet. “She became the first Black neurosurgeon resident at Vanderbilt since 1874.”
According to the National Institutes of Health, about thirty neurosurgeons identify as African American and female, making up 0.6% of the neurosurgical workforce in the United States.
“Structural racism, implicit bias, and systemic inequities form “leaky pipelines” and hinder the progress of individuals in underrepresented groups at every stage of their neurosurgical careers,” concluded the study on diversity in neurosurgery.
“My first job was a certified nursing assistant at 17 years old in 2014,” Tamia tweeted. “Today on March 17th, 2023, I was blessed to be selected as the first African American female neurosurgery resident to train at…
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
Hello everyone! My name is Tamia Potter and I am a rising M4 @CWRUSOM. I am applying to neurosurgery this cycle 🧠 and looking forward to connecting with colleagues and mentors along the journey!#MedTwitter #NeuroTwitter #Neurosurgery #Match2023 #URIM pic.twitter.com/c2fRlb0iuS
— Tamia Potter (@PotterTamia) March 28, 2022