Following completion of medical school at the University of Massachusetts in 1976, Dr. Peter Canaday took up training as an Internal Medicine specialist at the University of Michigan, before further sub-specialist training in Respiratory and Intensive Care at the University of North Carolina.  He then began his medical career in a busy trauma hospital in Denver, Colorado in 1981 and practiced for 12 years. During his time there, he managed many of the types of patients now seen with severe COVID-19, co-founded a sleep disorders laboratory and a hyperbaric medicine department. As well, he participated in a dozen committee assignments, and rose to Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine.

In 1993, Dr Canaday changed career and completed training as a Radiologist at the University of Wisconsin in 1997. During an 8-year period at Creighton University Medical School in Nebraska, he became tenured as an Assistant Professor of Radiology, and head of the section of Pulmonary Radiology. He also served on or chaired over a dozen hospital and medical school committees and was appointed Clinical Coordinator for the Radiology Department during his time there

Dr Canaday has also published work in applied physiology, respiratory medicine, and diagnostic radiology, has presented at national (USA) and international meetings, and his research supported the eventual FDA approval of a new medical imaging device incorporating digital X-ray tomosynthesis. He has sat on national, state, and local level advisory committees and given testimony at the state legislative level in the USA.

From 2007, Dr Canaday spent time in community radiology practices before settling in New Zealand in 2013 as a Consultant Radiologist. Since 2016, he was employed at a Midlands region DHB and had served as Head of Department before retiring in March 2021.