Up Next

Get Lifted

Nancy Abu-Bonsrah is Johns Hopkins Hospital’s first black female neurosurgery resident

The history-making match is one that was decades in the making

For medical school students, “Match Day” is one of the most anxiety-inducing yet gratifying days of their early careers. Once students finally receive the envelopes telling them where they’ll be completing their residencies, the news is generally shared with friends, family and across social media platforms as they announce their new future homes to the world.

For Johns Hopkins University medical student Nancy Abu-Bonsrah, the exhilarating experience was no different — until she realized where she had been accepted. Abu-Bonsrah will complete her residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the neurological surgery department, becoming the first black woman to do so in the 30 years since the department began accepting residents.

The history-making match is one she hadn’t expected.

“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,” Abu-Bonsrah posted on Facebook. “I’m so fortunate to have the continued support of my husband, family, friends and mentors.”

Abu-Bonsrah, who now resides in Maryland, was born in Ghana and lived in the West African nation for 15 years before moving to the United States. She studied at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and enrolled at Johns Hopkins University after earning her undergraduate degree.

What makes Abu-Bonsrah’s journey even more special is being able to share it with her husband, Kwabena Yamoah, who also matched at Johns Hopkins.

“I am very much interested in providing medical care in underserved settings, specifically surgical care,” Abu-Bonsrah said in a statement. “I hope to be able to go back to Ghana over the course of my career to help in building sustainable surgical infrastructure. I will be matching into neurosurgery, a field that I am greatly enamored with, and hope to utilize those skills in advancing global surgical care. 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.”

Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.