fbpx

History-Making Prodigy Started Medical School at 16 and is Graduating at 21

History-Making Prodigy Started Medical School at 16 and is Graduating at 21

Medical School

Zindzi Thompson with Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, president and CEO of Meharry Medical College. (Credit: Meharry Medical College).

An academic prodigy made history on May 21, becoming the youngest Black woman to graduate from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee.

Zindzi Thompson, 21, enrolled in the historically Black medical school when she was just 16, following in the footsteps of at least three generations and more than a dozen family members who’d done so before her, Nashville’s News Channel 5 reported.

“I have always wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember, there’s nothing else that I wanted to be,” Thompson told Channel 5.

Her parents, Samuel and Machelle Thompson, confirmed that.

“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 3. So since she was three, she’s worked towards this goal,” Machelle said.

Though it was difficult to watch their teenage daughter leave home in Columbia South Carolina to attend medical school five hours away, the Thompsons said they had to let her go so she could pursue greatness.

“We always get, ‘What was the secret? What did you do?’ We stayed out of her way. Yes, we did,” Samuel said.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 74: Jamarlin Martin

Jamarlin returns for a new season of the GHOGH podcast to discuss Bitcoin, bubbles, and Biden. He talks about the risk factors for Bitcoin as an investment asset including origin risk, speculative market structure, regulatory, and environment. Are broader financial markets in a massive speculative bubble?


Are you interested in getting smart on Life Insurance?
No Doctor Visit Required, Get Policy for as low as $30 per Month
Click here to take the next step

“A big part of the process has been letting her go and achieve her goal,” Samuel continued. “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.”

Before enrolling at Meharry, Thompson enrolled in a gifted program at Mary Baldwin University in Virginia when she was 13 — one of only 20 young women accepted into the program.

Now that she has made history at Meharry, Thompson plans to attend Washington University Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis to begin her psychiatry residency.

When asked how she felt about her historic accomplishment, Thompson said, “It’s definitely a mountain. I’m so, so excited.”

She encouraged others to persist in going after their educational dreams. “Just don’t give up. Just push through,” Thompson said. “If you have to re-take a course, re-take it and do better — you can definitely do it, it’s not impossible.”

It is a feat that has left her mother in awe.

“I think about my ancestors and everything that they went through, and then I look at my daughter, and it’s amazing. It truly is,” Machelle said.

PHOTO: Zindzi Thompson with Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, president and CEO of Meharry Medical College. (Credit: Meharry Medical College).