Dr. Canady was born in Lansing MI and received her undergraduate degree at U Mich in 1971. She went on to receive her MD at the College of Medicine at U Mich in 1975 and completed a surgery internship at Yale-New Haven hospital in 1976. It has been said that she entered her neurosurgery residency at Univ. of Minnesota in 1976, becoming the first black female neurosurgery resident in the US. But here is why I am confused – was there a black male neurosurgery resident in the US before her? That history is a bit obscure.
While Dr. Clarence Summer Greene, Sr. is the first practicing neurosurgeon in the U.S., he trained in Canada. There is a report of a physician from Nigeria, Dr. E. Latunde Odeku, who received his MD from Howard University in 1954 and then completed a neurosurgical residency at U Mich in 1960. He is reportedly the first African-American trained in neurosurgery in the U.S. After practicing a short while in the U.S., he returned to his hometown of Lagos, Nigeria.
And per the Women in Neurosurgery (WIN) website, it seems there were a few women who completed their training in neurosurgery – test your knowledge using their online quiz! So I am going to highlight a few of Dr. Canady’s known firsts:
· First black woman neurosurgeon in the U.S.
· First black woman neurosurgeon hired at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital
· First black woman certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery
· First black director of Neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan
In 1989, Dr. Canady was inducted into the Michigan Women’s hall of fame – a great and fitting honor for this very special lady!
~One drop of knowledge can ripple through an entire community.