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This Is Johns Hopkins' First Black Female Neurosurgery Resident

22 MAR 2017

Ghana-born Nancy Abu-Bonsrah made history last week, becoming the first black female to be accepted for a residency at the prestigious Johns Hopkins medical school.

She was awarded the residency on March 17, which is known as "Match Day" in the medical community, when medical students are matched up with a residency. The John Hopkins program only accepts two to five residents each year.


In a statement on the Johns Hopkins website, Abu-Bonsrah said the residency was a "dream come true".

If her training is successful, she'll be the first physician in her family, including extended family.

Abu-Bonsrah spent the first 15 years of her life in Ghana, before moving to Maryland 11 years ago. 

She won't officially become a neurosurgeon until she completes her residency and training, but she's hoping to use her new skills to advance global surgical care when she does.

"I am very much interested in providing medical care in underserved settings, specifically surgical care," she said.

"I hope to be able to go back to Ghana over the course of my career to help in building sustainable surgical infrastructure ... I want to be remembered for serving my community, whether it is through providing quality surgical care or helping mentor the next generation of surgeons."

The first female and first African-American neurosurgeon in the US was Alexa Irene Canady back in 1984.

Despite females making up nearly 50 percent of medical graduates in the US, currently only one in 20 neurosurgeons in the country are women.

And according to a 2009 report, of the 200 female neurosurgeons in the US at the time, only nine were black.

It's always inspiring to see young people achieve their education goals - but even more so when it's someone from a group that's under-represented in the field.

Abu-Bonsrah starts her residency next year, and we can't wait to see what she does next.