Johns Hopkins Just Accepted Its First Black Female Neurosurgery Resident

Last week, Nancy Abu-Bonsrah got some really good news: She was accepted into the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s neurosurgery residency program — the first black woman to do so in the 30-year history of the program.

“There was a rush of emotions,” Nancy tells Teen Vogue about her initial reaction to the news. She found out on "Match Day," when medical students nationwide learn if and where they “match” for postgraduate residency programs, which they must complete before practicing medicine in the United States. A representative from Johns Hopkins tells Teen Vogue the school accepts three to five neurosurgery residents into its program each year.

“The first [emotion] was honestly amazement," 26-year-old Nancy, who also attended medical school at Johns Hopkins, added. "I could not believe that right there, in that moment, I was going to be given this incredible opportunity to remain at Johns Hopkins to begin my neurosurgical training. Then came the joy and happiness.” 

Nancy moved to the United States from Ghana when she was 15, and it was on a trip back to Ghana during college that she realized she wanted to pursue neurosurgery. “I had an opportunity to go spend some time in one of the teaching hospitals, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital,” she says. “It was there that I experienced the uniqueness of neurosurgery as well as the general lack of access to care. Not only was I impressed by the surgical skill and fascinated by the anatomy, [but] I was also stunned by how overwhelmed the surgeons were.”

That experience inspired her to go into a field that she believes will give her the opportunity to serve others in a meaningful way, and she hopes to return to Ghana someday to do so. “I look at neurosurgery through the light of service,” she says. “Neurosurgical patients are a unique population who put a great deal of trust in their surgeons, and I see that to be a great privilege and honor. [...] I cannot wait to go back and serve, not only in Ghana, but in other low-resource settings.”

This year's Bronx parent summit planning committee.

Bronx parents

Parents picked up information
about immigration law in the
exhibitor hall.

Dear Parents, grandparents and education activists,

I want to thank those of you who came out to the Bronx parent summit last weekend!

See more pictures of the summit »

Over 400 parents, grandparents, guardians and education activists joined us at the Bronx borough office for a great day of workshops, exhibitors and networking.  I especially want to thank the planning committee, who worked tirelessly for months to put 
together this wonderful event.

If you didn't make it, I hope to see you at more Bronx parent events this school
year. And on that note, I want to tell you about a free event for college-bound
students and their families to get hands-on assistance filling out the Free
Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA completion event  hosted
by College Goal New York is this Saturday, Nov. 10, at Fordham University's
Hughes Hall on the Rose Hill Campus, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Directions »

If you have any questions, email the event organizer, James Rodriguez, at


Nicholas Cruz
UFT Parent-Community Liaison