NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — HBCU alumna Tamia Potter will become the first Black woman to be a neurosurgery resident in the history of Vanderbilt University.
Dr. Potter’s medical training will continue in Nashville later this year after previous studies at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. She’s proud to make history and proud to be an HBCU graduate.
“I think what’s really important about the connection Vanderbilt has is that it has a connection to Meharry, another HBCU. And there are so many students there who are interested in neurosurgery and they do not have a home neurosurgery program. So being able to be at Vanderbilt and be a model for those students, to be educated, be a mentor, is something that’s really near and dear to me, because I came from HBCU,” explained Dr. Potter.
Dr. Potter added she became fascinated with medicine at a young age and is now hoping to inspire others to follow her lead.
“I really think it is important for there to be visibility of people like me, because you know, a lot of people may not have a conventional route to medicine or to neurosurgery in general, some people may take years off, some people may fail the first time and they have to try multiple times to get to this point. So it’s important to realize that your journey is your own, and that you have helped along the way, and I want to be that person to help,” said Dr. Potter.
She is set to arrive in Nashville in July and begin a seven year program at Vanderbilt. Only three people were accepted into the program; Alan Tang and Freddy Vallejo, both people of color, along with Dr. Potter.