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Alumna Nancy Abu-Bonsrah Completes Neurosurgery Residency

Donna Klinger

Nancy Abu-Bonsrah

Nancy Abu-Bonsrah, MD, MPH, C’12, broke a glass ceiling and made headlines in 2017 when she became the first African-American female resident in the history of the world-renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital neurosurgery program. Seven years later, she is again making history as the first African-American female to complete the seven-year program at the hospital that is the birthplace of neurosurgery.

Nancy Abu-BonsrahIn reflecting on her education journey, Dr. Abu-Bonsrah expressed her gratitude to the faculty of the Mount St, Mary’s University School of Natural Science and Mathematics (SNSM), in particular SNSM Dean Christine McCauslin, Ph.D. “I’m especially grateful for the mentorship from Dr. Christine McCauslin during my time at the Mount. Her support for me, personally and professionally, knew no bounds.,” she said.

“I’m also grateful to several of the science faculty, including Dr. Kreke, Dr. Staiger, Dr. Miles and Dr. Ward, among others. The science department holds a special place in my heart. I am lucky to have had their encouragement through the years!” she added.

Dean McCauslin taught Dr. Abu-Bonsrah’s introductory biology class and soon became a mentor when the gifted student joined McCauslin’s lab as a research assistant. "I count it a privilege to have worked with Dr. Abu-Bonsrah during her time at the Mount. Her dedication and hard work have paved the way for her to break down barriers and establish herself in a field that accepts only the best," she said. "More importantly, Dr. Abu-Bonsrah epitomizes the mission of our institution, an ethical leader who cares deeply and commits to serving her patients to the best of her ability every day.”

During her 12 years at Hopkins, starting with medical school, Abu-Bonsrah pursued her clinical interests in neurosurgery, neurotrauma and neurosurgical capacity building in her birth country of Ghana and other low-and-middle-income countries. In addition to her Doctor of Medicine, awarded in 2017, she also earned a Master of Public Nancy Abu-Bonsrah and familyHealth from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2022, which was supported by the Global Health Scholarship and MPH Scholarship Awards. She has co-authored more than 70 peer-reviewed publications.

As a neurosurgery resident, Dr. Abu-Bonsrah won the Neurosurgeon Research and Education Foundation (NREF) Directed Residency Scholarship and the Hopkins Neurosurgery Department Irving J. Sherman Traveling Fellowship Award in 2021. She was a finalist in 2022 for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health Practice Awards – Excellence in International Public Health Practice.  She also received the Association for Academic Surgery/Association for Academic Surgery Foundation (AAS/AASF) Global Surgery Research Award in 2022 and the Hopkins Neurosurgery Department Louise Eisenhardt Award in 2023.

Dr. Abu-Bonsrah became a member of Delta Omega Alpha, the honor society for public health programs, in 2022 and was inducted this year into Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society, as a resident.

Now that Dr. Abu-Bonsrah’s training as a neurosurgeon is complete, she and her husband, Kwabena Yamoah, MD, are headed to Williamsport, Pennsylvania to work at UPMC Williamsport Hospital. They will be accompanied by their children and family. Dr. Yamoah is a specialist in interventional radiology.

Donna Klinger