Alexa Canady

First Black Female Neurosurgeon

Alexa Canady is a doctor that was born in Lansing, Michigan in 1950. Her father was a dentist and her mother served as an educator. She made history as the first Black female neurosurgeon in 1981. 

Canady’s interest in medicine began in college when she attended a summer program for minority students and worked in a genetics lab. Before then she was a math major and almost dropped out of college because of what she called a “crisis of confidence”. At the time when Canady started her career, there were less than an average of 10% of women graduating medical school. 

She graduated from the College of Medicine at the University of Michigan in 1975 and then went on to complete an internship at the Yale-New Haven Hospital, the first African American and women enrolled in the program. In 1981 she became the first female African American neurosurgeon in the United States.

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