Black Meharry Medical Student Becomes Youngest Woman Graduate In School's History
"I have always wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember," Zindzi said.
May 24, 2022 at 9:00 pm
Zindzi Thompson, 21, a Meharry Medical College student, became the school’s youngest Black woman graduate. Thompson comes from a family of Meharry graduates.
Zindzi told News Channel 5 in Nashville that she always wanted to be a doctor and never dreamed of being anything else.
“I have always wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember,” Zindzi said. “there’s nothing else that I wanted to be.”
The goal of becoming a doctor would lead Zindzi to enroll in a gifted program at Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Virginia when she was only 13 years old. She became one of 20 gifted women to earn a four-year degree at the school.
Zindzi’s father, Samuel Thompson, would reveal that allowing his young daughter to attend a school that was five hours away from her home in South Carolina was challenging. However, knowing she would be OK academically was the easy part.
“A big part of the process has been letting her go and achieve her goal. And that’s been the hardest part,” Samuel said. “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.”
Zindzi’s mother, Machelle Thompson, said that she knew her daughter wanted to be a doctor since she was three years old and has been working toward that.
“She’s wanted to be a doctor since she was three years old, and we saw that she was a little bit different starting at three,” Machelle said. “So since she was three, she’s worked toward this goal.”
Zindzi is continuing her family’s rich legacy of becoming doctors. At least a dozen family members have graduated from Meharry Medical College, making Zindzi the latest and the youngest. She said she was excited to be called “Dr. Thompson.”
“It’s definitely a mountain,” Zindzi said. “I’m so, so excited. Tomorrow, I’ll be called a doctor — Dr. Thompson.”
Her summer plans include a psychiatry residency program at Washington University Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.
History Maker: Meharry Medical College congratulates Dr. Zindzi S. Thompson. At 21 years of age, she has become the youngest Black female graduate in the college’s history. Dr. Thompson graduated from Meharry on May 21, 2022.#MeharryMade #MeharryMedicalCollege pic.twitter.com/CsWqBwwQnN
— Meharry Medical College (@MeharryMedical) May 23, 2022
Anil Shanker, Ph.D., the Senior Vice President for research and innovation of Meharry Medical College, shared a photo of Zindzi on Twitter during her graduation held on Saturday.
He congratulated her on becoming a doctor and sent his best wishes to the young graduate.
“Zindzi became Dr. Thompson yesterday,” Shanker tweeted. “Best wishes to her!”
Zindzi became Dr. Thompson yesterday! Best wishes to her! pic.twitter.com/UKm6yp4JMh
— Anil Shanker, Ph.D. (@Immunoplayers) May 23, 2022
Following the news of Zindzi’s accomplishment of becoming the youngest Black graduate of a historically Black medical school going viral, many people online congratulated the young scholar.
Meharry is so proud of newly minted Dr. Zindzi Thompson who matriculated into our medical school at age 16. She joins vast Meharry diaspora of doctors, dentists, scientists and public health professionals who change lives of people most in need all over the country! https://t.co/zrWqP4LfJb
— James E.K. Hildreth (@JamesEKHildreth) May 21, 2022
Congratulations Zindzi Thompson https://t.co/uXgTHfHXnK
— Veronica Montoya (@Veroniquespurs) May 22, 2022
Congratulations Dr. Zindzi Thompson 🎉🎉🎉 https://t.co/Sl4Kop43eM
— LadyBoyd (@Ladygeedee5125) May 22, 2022
Congrats to soon to be Dr. Zindzi Thompson who is graduating from @MeharryMedical today at the age of 21. This is beyond impressive! Equally impressive is she will become a psychiatrist to address the growing mental health needs of our country. @JamesEKHildreth https://t.co/nb3PbJrNYV
— Alex Jahangir (@alexjahangir) May 21, 2022