Chatting with 5 Creative Jamaican medics (Part I)

You’d never believe how often I get asked about how do I make time to blog as a doctor. People are often in awe, and I get it. The hours are horrible, but we are human too with other talents, interests and callings besides medicine, ranging from cooking, baking, sewing and more! Today I feature five talented medics who are doing amazing things while balancing their careers in medicine.

Dee’s Natural Beauty Bar

My name is Davia L. Dwyer. I’m a general registered nurse that works in the operating theatre, an entrepreneur, and the CEO  of Dee’s Natural Beauty Bar, which is a online registered organic store that operates from Mandeville, Manchester. We sell a variety of hand-made products which are made by us, 100% NATURAL, soaps: turmeric, neem,  moringa, and more; natural oils: turmeric oil, aloe vera oil, castor oil, coconut oil and more; bonnets, facial brushes, lipbalms and lipglosses.

How did you discover your talent? When I couldn’t afford to buy from other retailers and I like interacting with different individuals. I’m also that person that loves to make unique things. 

What made you decide to turn it into a business? Since a year ago I was diagnosed with  rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia,  I used to purchase a particular line of products to help me  with  the sensitivity of my skin.  One month I was unable to get the products,  so I turned to natural products  which I found to be helpful with my skin, and I believe I made the right choice. I’m able to sell these handmade natural products to other individuals who are struggling with autoimmune diseases as well as sensitive [skin] issues. 

How do you balance running a company with the stressful demanding hours of nursing? I’m OK thus far because I try to do productions, and deliveries on my off days and non nursing hours. But as the business is getting bigger I will surely hire more individuals to help.

What are your future plans for Dee’s Natural Beauty Bar? To expand on production of other products to increase the skincare line.

Follow Dee on Instagram @dees_natural_beauty_bar.

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The Layman’s Doctor

Hi! I’m Samantha, a 25 year old who enjoys trying new things, especially if it involves water, food or beauty. I started The Layman’s Doctor in 2018 when I was in my penultimate year of medical school. Initially, it was just a blog aimed at helping patients navigate our health system. In 2020, with all the challenges faced by health care workers and having about 1 year of experience myself, I realised that ‘The Layman’s Doctor’ could also be a voice for health care workers (HCWs). Now, the brand acts as a bridge to the health care system for both patients and HCWs.

What made you decide to start a blog and podcast? I started The Layman’s Doctor after finally finding my way in medical school. For years I wasn’t sure if medicine was the right choice for me, but my fourth year Community Health course was instrumental in the creation of my brand. I also used to blog a lot when I was younger and wanted to get back into it. The podcast came about after many persons pushed me to start- so I finally did it! Honestly- ‘The Layman’s Doctor’ is an outlet that keeps me accountable but also allows me to share the lessons I’ve learnt with others plus the answers to questions I’ve asked.

How do you balance regularly updating a blog and podcast with the stressful demanding hours of your job? This is such a difficult question, sometimes I don’t. Since working I have taken several breaks from posting. What I’ve learnt is that I value quality more than quantity and my content now is more evidence-based and takes a lot of research. Now that I’ve completed medical school, I understand that some persons see me as an expert in my field which makes me even more careful about what I post. Also, The Layman’s Doctor is a priority for me, so even when I’m not posting I’m still working on the brand. The truth is there is no secret formula, you make time for what matters to you. At the end of the day, I just make the time.

Samantha practices what she preaches by donating blood!

What are your future plans for The Layman’s Doctor? ‘The Layman’s Doctor’ is 2 years old now, and there has been so much growth already between year 1 and year 2. I plan to produce way more content that’s relevant and useful. Recently I created an Ebook aimed at new interns and really enjoyed that and had pretty good feedback, so I think that that’s another avenue I’ll be exploring. The way I see it, there is no limit, and I’m excited to see what’s next in store for ‘The Layman’s Doctor’. For now it’s more content, articles, podcasts and soon YouTube!

Find the Layman’s Doctor on: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and on her blog/podcast.

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As Told By Nella

Hi my name is Dr. Ornella Green but I mostly go by Nella here on the interwebs. I’m a 30 year old (whew!) from Kingston, Jamaica and I’m the creative behind the blog As Told by Nella, a travel and lifestyle blog showcasing my experiences in Jamaica. I recently also started the YouTube channel Just Nella to help add some visuals to my experiences.

How you discover your interest in writing and content creation? I fell in love with writing when I was about 9 years old. One of my dreams was to become a best-selling author and travel writer. I started out writing poetry to express whatever deep feelings 9 year olds have and my writing has evolved since then. Over the years I discovered how much I love to travel and explore and I loved sharing the experiences with my friends and family and so my blog became my outlet.

What made you decide to start a blog? Truth be told, I’d say it was a combination of boredom and a quest to get my work seen at first lol. I liked sharing my stuff and felt that writing a blog opened me up to a wider audience. My very first blog was me sharing short stories and poetry lol. I was hoping to be discovered and get my book deal 😊

How do you balance your passion with the stressful demanding hours? I don’t feel like I’m balancing anything if I’m honest. But, what I try to do is to batch create content. Create on my days off and nights off and use my schedule as best as I can. My planner and to-do lists keep my mind clear and focused on what I hope to accomplish each day. And I do appreciate that my hospital and specialty allows me a certain amount of control over my schedule so that helps.

What are your future plans for As Told by Nella? I plan to take over the world!!! I want As Told by Nella to become a recognizable brand and a voice in the travel and lifestyle community, both local and international. I do want to make a conscious effort to be more consistent with my content creation and build my audience. I want ATBN to be a go-to website for travel and lifestyle information and I would love it to become another income stream to my portfolio because poverty is not cute and if there’s one thing the world has taught is, it’s that a single income isn’t sustainable anymore.

Find Nella on: her blog, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

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Azzi Concepts by Tudy

I am a 30 year old medical doctor who graduated medical school in 2015. I am married and have a 4 year old son whose name is Azzuri. The brand Azzi Concepts by Tudy started in November 2020.

Would you believe these gorgeous cushions were made from scratch by a doctor?

How did you discover your talent? I have always been creative but didn’t have enough time in the past to explore things outside [of] medicine. With the Covid pandemic, I discovered some free time and decided to buy a sewing machine. I started out with [making] dresses for myself then started making cushions and curtains.

What made you turn this newfound sewing hobby into a business? After designing my fourth set of cushions that had nothing to do with my decor, I decided it’s time to sell some of these. I introduced my products to my friends and family and they were truly impressed and encouraged me to launch a business.

How do you balance a new business with the demanding hours of being a doctor? I balance family life, medicine and my business by prioritizing and using a strict schedule, even scheduling rest. I also have the full support of my husband who helps when I am overwhelmed with work.

What’s next for Azzi Concepts? The vision I have for Azzi Concepts includes: 1) Selling my designs in bulk to stores and 2) providing furniture like ottomans, side tables and other decorative pieces.

Find Azzi Concepts on Instagram @azziconcepts.

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Dr. T’s Sweet Treats

Tiffanie Skerrit, the face behind Dr. T’s Sweet Treats

I was born on the volcanic island of Montserrat and moved to Jamaica in 2014 to pursue medicine at the University of the West Indies. I have a myriad of interests from medicine to the performing arts, volunteerism and well the culinary arts. I consider myself a multipotentialite. Dr T’s Sweet Treats is actually the second food company that I started. When I was at community college I launched Happy Thoughts Ice-cream which produced a variety of local, traditional and novel flavors.

How did you discover your talent? When I was a child, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my mother where I learnt the basic baking skills. I became more adventurous and wanted to try non-traditional cakes. During medical school, baking became a creative avenue I used to reduce stress while bringing joy and comfort food to friends and colleagues.

What made you decide to turn it into a business? While completing internship at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, I volunteered to provide cakes and breads for our team celebrations and meetings. It was after one of these occasions, that my consultant looked at me and said: Skerritt these are good enough to sell – you should make this a business. I did some ground work, scoped out the market and launched my Instagram business page a month later. It evolved from hobby to hustle quickly, when I got word that I would be unable to start my next contract till 2021 and would have to find supplemental income. I’d say God works in mysterious ways.

How do you balance your passion with the stressful demanding hours of medicine?
In order to maintain product quality, my sanity and the passion I have for baking, I limit the numbers. It prevents me from getting overwhelmed and allows me to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with my work schedule, which is quite demanding. Products are done to order, which prevents wasteage of time and materials and ensures clients receive the freshest cakes and pastries for consumption.

What’s next for Dr. T’s Sweet Treats? My dream would be to open my own pastry/bakery outlet in Kingston with satellite ones sprinkled in other major cities in Jamaica. The bigger dream [is to] take Dr T’s Sweet Treats regional; I’d love to see a chain of Dr T’s Sweet Treats across the islands– just like we are able to see major international fast food and coffee chains.

Find Dr. T on Instagram @drtsweettreats.

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Wrap Up

Check out these fellow colleagues in the medical field doing creative things in their pastimes outside of the hospital, and support them where you can. If you enjoyed this article, let me in the comments! I know so many other talented health care workers I could’ve included, so perhaps I’ll write a part 2 in 2021. Make sure you’re following Adventures from Elle on Instagram and enter my giveaway launching later today which is jointly hosted by Tea Files and Juleen Meets World, two fellow local bloggers. Take care!


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Published by

Rochelle | Adventuresfromelle

Adventures from Elle is a blog for locals & visitors who want to experience the best of Jamaica, one adventure at a time. Also a budget travel blog, Adventures from Elle is written by Rochelle Knight, a junior internal medicine resident who began this blog as a medical student & wants to see the world, starting with her own country. She frequents off-the-beaten-path waterfalls, beaches and places with interesting history. Join her in Jamaica!

21 thoughts on “Chatting with 5 Creative Jamaican medics (Part I)

  1. Being a doctor and balancing out life is very impressive! I’m not a doctor, but I do have a 9-to-5, full-time job, and even I have trouble staying on top of blogging at times. Glad to see a list of well-accomplished (and gorgeous) female doctors enjoying life outside of work, including you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it. It can be difficult keeping up with blogging just by having any other interest or thing keeping you busy in life– family, kids, 9-5 job, school etc. so I lift my hats off to all bloggers, especially professional bloggers who stick with a strict schedule. Thanks for reading & stopping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Whoops! I think this was the cornerstone of my feature on you. Balancing the doctor life with the travel life cos it seems like a time demanding profession to be honest especially as we’ve seen with Covid.

    These are all awesome women doing great and inspiring things. I’ll check one or two of em out.

    Good work Rochelle! 👏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Erico! It’s certainly a difficult balancing act but I guess it’s possible, as this blog shows. 🙂 Check them out. I hope to do a part 2 someday soon, and hopefully I can find a few gents to take part. Us ladies aren’t the only medics with talents and interests outside of our medical skills.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Giggles! Few gents for sure. It’s an amazing and commendable act especially considering that some of em also have much dedication to family.
      Off topic but I watched some vids on Jamaican-West African relations and I was amazed. I never knew and it’s impressive that to this day, we’ve got similarities in words, cuisine and culture.

      Cheers! Rochelle.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Woot! I’m so happy to be a part of such a group of amazing medics. I love that we all continue to pursue passions outside of medicine and I hope more and more people see that some sort of work life balance is actually possible.

    Liked by 2 people

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