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Alexa Irene Canady is both the first African American and first female to become a neurosurgeon in the United States. She completed her residence in 1981 and received her certification from the American Board of Neurological Surgery in 1984.
See the fact file below for more information on the Alexa Canady or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Alexa Canady worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Early Life and Education
- Alexa Irene Canady was born on November 7, 1950 in Lansing, Michigan.
- Her parents are Dr. Clinton Canady, Jr., a dentist, and Hortense Golden Canady, a civil rights leader and former national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
- Her parents raised her to value education and hard work.
- Alexa Canady has a younger brother and they were the only African Americans in their school.
- Despite experiencing prejudice in school, she excelled academically, which showed in her test scores.
- In 1967, she was nominated for the National Achievement Scholarship Program for black students.
- In 1971, she earned her bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Michigan.
- In her stay at University, she also became a member of Delta Sigma Theta.
In Pursuit of Medicine
- Various sources state that she almost dropped out of college but pressed forward because of a minority scholarship in medicine.
- In 1975, she graduated with cum laude honors from the University of Michigan Medical School.
- As a medical student, Dr. Canady says she felt like she and her female classmates were overlooked by her professors.
- Her initial interest was a career in internal medicine but her inclinations shifted to neurosurgery in her first two years in medical school.
- She was strongly advised to not pursue neurosurgery because it would be difficult for her to get a residency in the field.
- However, she still pursued that career path and went on to build her resume by studying tons of articles and going to every conference she could attend.
- From 1975 to 1976, she became the first woman and first black surgical intern at the Yale-New Haven Hospital.
- Despite facing prejudices during her internship, she was still voted by her fellow physicians as one of the top residents in the program.
- After completing her internship at Yale-New Haven, she began her residency in the University of Minnesota.
- She was the first female and black neurosurgery resident in the country.
- She was a trailblazer in medicine for women and African Americans.
- She said that she did not intend to make history but to merely pursue the field she wanted.
- In 2001, she retired from medicine and moved to Pensacola, Florida.
- It was then when she realized that her accomplishments were making an impact on African Americans and women in the medical field.
- When she was done with her residency, Dr. Canady pursued a specialization in Pediatric neurosurgery because of her love for children.
- She is also the first African American and the first woman to specialize in such field.
- She worked for a short time at the Henry Ford Hospital.
- She later worked at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
- In 1984, she became a board-certified Neurosurgeon and is the first African American woman to receive that certification.
- Three years later, in 1987, she became the Chief of Neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
- Dr. Canady was a patient-focused surgeon, meaning she would spend time with her patients and get to know her patients better.
- While working at the children’s hospital, she also worked as a Professor of Neurosurgery at the Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan where she also worked on research.
- Her research led to the development of an anti-siphon shunt to aid in the treatment of hydrocephalus.
- Even though she had already retired in 2001, she still worked as a medical consultant and part-time surgeon at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Florida from 2001 until her full retirement in 2012.
- Although she’s already retired, she continues to be an advocate of neurosurgery, encouraging students to pursue the field.
- As an African American and a woman, she is also an advocate of diversity in the medical profession.
Awards and Recognition
- In 1984, Dr. Canady received Teacher of the Year award from the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
- In 1986, National Coalition of 100 Black Women presented Dr. Canady with the Candace Award, which is an award given to African American role models for young people.
- In 1989, she was inducted to the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame.
- In 1993, she was awarded the American Medical Women’s Association President’s Award.
- In 1994, she received the Distinguished Service Award from Wayne State University Medical School.
- She received honorary degrees from University of Southern Connecticut, University of Detroit-Mercy, and Roosevelt University.
Alexa Canady Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Alexa Canady across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Alexa Canady worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Alexa Irene Canady who is both the first African American and first female to become a neurosurgeon in the United States. She completed her residence in 1981 and received her certification from the American Board of Neurological Surgery in 1984.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Alexa Canady Facts
- Describing Dr. Canady
- Sort By Category
- Timeline Check
- Location Crossword
- Word Association
- Trailblazer Doctors
- Work of a Neurosurgeon
- Plan Prescription
- What’s The Story?
- Opinion Piece
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Link will appear as Alexa Canady Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, January 22, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
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