The following blog post is authored by Annaliese Collins, a public health major at Muhlenberg College, class of 2023. They are passionate about peer education, community health and wellness, and disease prevention.
Black History Month
Black History Month challenges Americans to learn more about the integral role that Black Americans have in the history of our country.
Some of the most important developments made within the fields of medicine and science were made possible by Black doctors, biologists, professors, researchers, and patients. Families Fighting Flu will be reflecting on the legacies of five Black pioneers in medicine and science. In this post, we highlight Dr. Alexa Irene Canady.
Dr. Alexa Irene Canady Dr. Alexa Irene Canady (1950 to present) is most famous for breaking down barriers after becoming the first Black neurosurgeon in the United States in 1981. Dr. Canady graduated from University of Michigan in 1971 with a degree in zoology, and then graduated from the university’s College of Medicine cum laude. She was accepted as the first Black surgical intern at the Yale-New Haven Hospital in 1975, where she began her interests in neurosurgery. After her internship and completing her residency at University of Minnesota in 1981 and developing a love for pediatric medicine, she became the Chief of Neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital of Michigan at the age of 36. Dr. Canady retired to Florida in 2001 after 22 years of pediatric neurosurgery but came out of retirement when she became aware of the absence of a pediatric neurosurgeon near her new home. After practicing at Pensicola’s Sacred Heart Hospital for 11 years, she finally retired in 2012. Dr. Canady is still a passionate advocate for women of color in the field of medicine and will continue to be revered as a trailblazer for Black women in science.
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