This 21-year-old doctor is the youngest Black woman to graduate from the prestigious Meharry Medical College

Zindzi Thompson. Credit: Meharry Medical College

Zindzi Thompson always wanted to be a doctor. In elementary and middle school, she was really involved in math and science. The two were her favorite subjects.

“I did algebra in the sixth grade, geometry in the seventh grade and algebra 2 in the eighth grade,” said the 21-year-old Columbia native, who is now the youngest Black woman graduate of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. Her parents and family are proud of her feat. They also knew that Thompson was passionate about science and so they gave her all the support she needed.

“She’s wanted to be a doctor since she was 3 years old and we saw that she was a little bit different starting at three. So since she was three, she’s worked towards this goal,” Thompson’s mom Machelle Thompson told News Channel 5.

From Dent Middle School, Thompson skipped high school and went straight to college at Mary Baldwin University in Virginia at age 13. She was one of only 20 women selected to earn a bachelor’s degree through a gifted program — the Mary Baldwin’s Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG). The program helps intelligent young women between the ages of 13 and 15 to “bypass all or some of their high school grades to pursue an undergraduate degree,” Carolina Panorama reported.

Thompson enrolled in Mary Baldwin College for the Fall 2014 semester. She was the second-youngest person in her class of about 40 PEG students. From Mary Baldwin College, she went to the historically black medical school Meharry at the age of 16.

On May 21, she walked across the stage and became the youngest Black woman to graduate from the institution. She is the latest member of her family to graduate from Meharry. A day before graduation, she spoke about how excited she was to have made history.

“It’s definitely a mountain. I’m so, so excited. Tomorrow, I’ll be called a doctor — Dr. Thompson.”

This month, Thompson will start her psychiatry residency at Washington University Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

Her advice to others is to never 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,” she said.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 1, 2022


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