21-year-old makes history as the world’s youngest black female medical graduate
Zindzi Thompson, a 21-year-old Black woman from South Carolina, has become the youngest person to graduate from Nashville Meharry Medical College. She is also the United States’ youngest Black female medical graduate.
Zindzi has had an ambition of being a doctor since she was three years old. Her fascination with the profession grew as she grew up, as she came from a family of doctors.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a doctor; there’s nothing else I’ve wanted to be,” Zindzi told News Channel 5.
Zindzi has been chasing her ideal career since she was a child. She enrolled at the Mary Baldwin University in Virginia when she was 13 years old.
Her parents, Samuel and Machelle Thompson, struggled to send her to college at such a young age. They, on the other hand, believed in her and continued to assist her in her educational endeavors.
“A big part of the process has been letting her go and achieve her goal. And that’s been the hardest part. The academics for her and knowing that she was going to do it was easy, but not having your daughter through those years was the hard part,” Samuel Thompson said.
Zindzi enrolled at Meharry Medical College, an HBCU in Nashville, Tennessee, after graduating from high school at the age of 16. At least a dozen members of her family have previously graduated from Meharry Medical College.
At the age of 21, Zindzi went across the stage as the institution’s youngest Black female graduate and the youngest Black female graduate of medicine in the country. She confessed that she struggled with her studies at times, but she never gave up.
“Just don’t give up. Just push through. If you have to re-take a course, re-take it and do better — you can definitely do it, it’s not impossible,” Zindzi advised.
Zindzi will begin her psychiatry residency at Washington University Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis in the coming months.