Alexa Irene Canady (born November 7, 1950) is a retired African-American medical doctor specializing in neurosurgery. She was born in Lansing, Michigan and earned both her bachelors and medical degree from the University of Michigan. A. This came after the first American woman was board certified in Neurosurgery in 1960.
Canady specialized in pediatric neurosurgery and was the chief of neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital in Michigan from 1987 until her partial retirement in 2001. In addition to surgery she also conducted research and was a professor of neurosurgery at Wayne State University.
After her retirement, she moved to Florida and maintained part-time practice at Pensacola’s Sacred Heart Hospital until her full retirement in January 2012.
In 1989, Canady was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame, and in 1993 she also received the American Medical Women’s Association President’s Award. Dr. Canady was known amongst her peers as a patient-focused surgeon who cared deeply about each of her patients.
Dr. Canady continues to be both an advocate for her profession as well as diversity in medicine. Canady received the American Medical Women’s Association President’s Award in 1993 and in 1994, was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from Wayne State University Medical School and was also featured in a Nickelodeon Black History Month short animation that aired in February 2015 to celebrate her achievement of being the first African-American Woman to become a Neurosurgeon.