A black and white portrait of Alexa Canady

Alexa I. Canady was the first African American female neurosurgeon. She was graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School, cum laude, in 1975 and practiced at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan for nearly twenty years. Starting as a staff neurosurgeon, she rose quickly to chief of neurosurgery in 1987 and ultimately became the Peter Scotanus Professor of Neurosurgery. Dr. Canady is credited with taking an ordinary neurosurgery program and making it one of the noted pediatric neurosurgical programs in the country. She collaborated on research activity on intraventricular hemorrhage in premature infants and epilepsy surgery in young children.

Dr. Canady retired in 2001 and moved to Pensacola, Florida. On arriving, she learned that no pediatric neurosurgery was available in the Panhandle and that patients were traveling over four hundred miles away to receive care. Sacred Heart Hospital approached her about returning to practice in a more limited fashion, and she agreed. In December 2005, she received the Chairman’s Recognition Award from the Florida Board of Medicine for being willing to meet this critical need in the Florida Panhandle.

Additional Information

National Library of Medicine

Changing the Face of Medicine

Faces of Title IX: Alexa Canady