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Ask a Doctor » Dr. Alexa Canady teaches us to remain calm in the face of obstacles

Dr. Alexa Canady teaches us to remain calm in the face of obstacles

Photo credit: Brian Lanker

Hailing from Lansing, Michigan, Dr. Alexa Canady is the first African American woman in the United States to become a neurosurgeon. Dr. Canady went on to receive her Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan, as well as her medical doctorate. She also graduated cum laude in medical school. Dr. Canady did her internship at Yale New Haven Hospital and went on to train in neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota.

Canady spoke with rolling out about overcoming obstacles on the way to establishing her impressive career.

What was it like being inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame?

It was kind of a surprise. And it was great. I mean, it’s always nice for people to recognize your work. A few years later, my mother was also inducted for her work. We’re the only mother-daughter pair in the Women’s Hall of Fame.

How did you deal with the challenges as an African American woman in this field?

Well, I think the first thing is that you have to believe that you can do it. I think the first thing is that you have to recognize that the people around you may not be supportive of your goal. I try to tell students that the world that you live in is a different world than the one your parents lived in. And so what’s possible for you may be different than what’s possible for them, and we have to recognize that change.

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