DR SONIA EDEN DMC neurosurgery i


Mar 8, 2021

Dr. Sonia Eden, former SMC fellow, makes history

Former Semmes Murphey Clinic Fellow, Dr. Sonia Eden, has been named the head of adult neurosurgery at Detroit Medical Clinic. Dr. Eden studied under Dr. Kevin Foley, Semmes Murphey, neurosurgeon, and board chair.

This is a historical appointment with Dr. Eden being the first black female to hold the role.

We checked in with Dr. Eden and Dr. Foley to reflect on her time in Memphis and the impact of her work in the field of medicine.

Dr. Eden's mother and her family were raised near Memphis in Tupelo. When a med school friend at the University of Michigan told Dr. Eden about a fellowship studying under Dr. Kevin Foley, she felt a call to Memphis and Semmes Murphey. After graduating, Dr. Eden applied to the fellowship and moved to Memphis to learn from Dr. Kevin Foley.

"Sonia was a standout during her spine fellowship at Semmes Murphey Clinic and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. It is no surprise to me that she is making history in her hometown. I am so proud to see the impact her work and excellence are having on the culture of medicine and the field of neuroscience." - Dr. Kevin Foley on Dr. Eden's appointment.

Only about 8 percent of neurosurgeons are women. Of those women, approximately 33 identify as Black. Black women in neurosurgery make up approximately 0.5 percent of neurosurgeons in this country. Dr. Eden is the second Black woman in America to ever receive the title "Head of Neurosurgery" behind Dr. Alexa Canady. Dr. Eden believes her accomplishments would not have been possible without Dr. Foley's mentorship.

When asked what she would tell future fellows studying under Dr. Foley, she said, "It was an amazing experience. I learned so much from him and would encourage all upcoming students to apply for a fellowship under him. Dr. Foley was an amazing mentor and supporter. Dr. Foley has a brilliant medical and engineering mind, and he was able to teach me some procedures other surgeons are not privy to."

Educating the next generation of neurosurgeons is a significant part of Semmes Murphey's mission. When we see one of our former fellows or residents go on to achieve greatness in their career, we all swell with pride.

Learn more about Semmes Murphey Clinic's educational programs here.