In a medical rite in the U.S. known as Match Day, where graduating fourth year medical students are given envelopes and find out where they have been matched to continue their medical training in a three to seven year residency program, Ghanaian Nancy Abu-Bonsrah was matched with Johns Hopkins Hospital to specialize in neurological surgery.
The match made her the first black female neurosurgery resident at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Abu-Bonsrah will spend seven more years at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she would get hands-on experience in her field.
Abu-Bonsrah’s feat as the first black female neurosurgery resident at Johns Hopkins is an incredible achievement, considering that the program only accepts 2-5 residents per year, Lauren Nelson, Media Relations Specialist at Johns Hopkins Medicine said to This is Africa.
According to the Johns Hopkins news release, prior to Match Day, students complete lengthy paperwork, and on-site interviews with hospitals, then provide a ranked list of their top choices. Hospitals submit a similar list, indicating openings, preferred students, and specialty or generalist preferences. Each applicant is matched via computer algorithm to the hospital residency program that is highest on the applicant’s list, and has offered the applicant a position. Johns Hopkins students are often matched with their first- or second-choice sites.
Abu-Bonsrah, according the John Hopkins medical news release spent the first 15 years of her life in Ghana and came to Maryland 11 years ago. She attended Hammond High School in Columbia, Maryland and went to college at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, after which, right after her undergrad, she went to Johns Hopkins .
Abu-Bonsrah further stated in the news release that she is very much interested in providing medical care in undeserved settings, specifically surgical care. The Ghanaian hopes to return to her country over the course of her career to help in building sustainable surgical infrastructure.
Her match to Johns Hopkins Hospital for neurological surgery is a dream come true for her. She says she wants to be remembered for serving her community either through providing quality surgical care or mentoring the next generation of surgeons.
Abu-Bonsrah attended Johns Hopkins University school of Medicine alongside her husband, and participated in the Match Day, which took place on the 17th of March. The event took place on the second floor of the Anne and Mike Armstrong Medical Education Building at 1600 McElderry St. in Baltimore, Maryland.
In a Facebook post, Abu-Bonsrah said:
What a way to begin the Sabbath! I still haven’t processed it yet but this is such an honor and a privilege to join the department at Hopkins to begin this next phase of my career. I’m so fortunate to have the continued support of my husband, family, friends and mentors. Kwabena and I are excited for what’s ahead! #match2017 #glorytoGod #wemadeit #sevenmoreyears #Neurosurgery #firstfemaleAAatHopkins
There has been an outpour of congratulations from social media. We wish Nancy Abu-Bonsrah all the best in her medical career.
— Hopkins Med News (@HopkinsMedNews) March 17, 2017