Meet Nancy Abu-Bonsrah, The First Black Neurosurgery Resident At Johns Hopkins Hospital

Ghanaian medic Nancy Abu-Bonsrah made history in 2017 when she became the first black female resident in neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Born and raised in Ghana, she moved to Maryland when she was 15 and achieved this by 26.

As a child, Nancy moved periodically between small villages and big cities with her father in his work for Adventist Development and Relief Agency, a nonprofit that helps small-scale business owners and farmers expand their businesses. When she was 15, that job took her family to Maryland, where she quickly adjusted to American life.

She studied chemistry and biochemistry at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Maryland. Then she went to Johns Hopkins University to study medicine. She is the first doctor in her extended family. Her desire to study neurosurgery was the result of shadowing a neurosurgeon when she visited Ghana when she was a junior in college.

In 2017, Nancy Abu-Bonsrah became the first black female to be accepted to train as a brain surgeon at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the birthplace of the medical discipline of neurological surgery.

She is married to her husband, Kwabena Yamoah, another doctor who received his M.D. from University of Maryland School of Medicine. 

Nancy hopes to be able to come back to Ghana over the course of her career to help in building sustainable surgical infrastructure.