Dr. Canal received his B.A. degree from Goshen College in 1978 and graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine in 1983 with Highest Distinction. He was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical society in 1982. His general surgery internship and residency were completed at Indiana University. He received the Surgical Socrates Award from the senior medical school class of 1988 as the outstanding teaching surgical resident of the year.
Dr. Canal joined the general surgical faculty at Indiana University in 1988 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Professor in 2007 and named the Frederic W. Taylor Professor of Surgery in 2007. He is currently the Associate Program Director of the General Surgery residency which oversees the education of over 60 housestaff officers. He is also the Chief of Service - Surgery at Wishard Hospital.
Dr. Canal has received numerous teaching awards including the Chief Resident Teaching Award given to the faculty who had the most influence in teaching the residents and the Teaching Award by the IU trustees. He was voted one of the "Top Doctors" in Indianapolis. His clinical interests include minimally invasive surgical techniques and pioneered many procedures in use on the IU campus today. He also has interest in surgical critical care and breast disease. He is a member of the Association of Program Directors in Surgery, Midwest Surgical Association and past president of the Indiana Chapter of the American College of Surgeons.