Chatting With More Creative Jamaican Medics

It’s a new month, so I’m starting June right with a new blog post. Last Christmas (#blogmas2020) I had the idea to feature five health care workers doing great things outside of their careers in medicine and nursing, simply because I always get asked how do I make time to blog consistently as a medical doctor. To be honest, it’s not easy but I believe people make time for what they love, and I love blogging, exploring Jamaica and trying new things. Today I’m back with seven medical doctors making time for their passion projects to inspire you all to ford your own streams. Read part one here.


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1. Shop Me & Mine

I am D’Anna-Marie Edwards, a 25 year old medical doctor of the class of 2019. I was born and raised in Mandeville, Manchester. I am behind Shop Me & Mine, an online based store, and thus far we sell custom resin keychains. I launched my business in April of this year and the support so far has been amazing. 

How did you discover this talent? Earlier this year I caught COVID and having to quarantine for 14 days, I was desperate for something to do so I found all these YouTube videos of persons creating gorgeous crafts from resin and decided to try it out. There were many initial fails and lots of research into getting it just right but I eventually figured it out. I’m still learning new things with each piece I make. 

What made you decide to turn it into a business? I actually sent a picture of the first thing I made (which ironically was a coaster set) to my friends and they said they would buy them and it’s a good idea for a business. I was hesitant at first but I overcame my initial anxieties and I listened eventually, and here we are. 

How do you balance running a company with the demanding hours of medicine? It’s difficult and I definitely have struggled with being tired from a long day of work or even a rough duty and still having orders to fill. There are only so many hours in a day to juggle the business, work and personal life so naturally some days a different aspect of life gets put on the back burner, but eventually everything gets done. 

What are your future plans or goals for Shop Me & Mine? Only time will tell. The business is still new (less than 3 months old) and I’m still adjusting and trying to find my groove with orders and posting and being interactive on my business page. But I hope to expand on what I offer, and take it from there. 

Shop keychains for you and yours on Instagram.

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2. Sim Styles It

Hi! I’m Simone, a 26-year-old doctor who loves décor. I’m a small island girl from Dominica who moved to Jamaica in 2014 for medical school. I have always had a love and appreciation for the art of styling. While feeling demotivated with my medical career amid the pandemic, I decided to start my own event styling business. Sim Styles It has become my creative outlet and passion project. I love executing my client’s dream from start to finish and bringing to life their vision.

How did you discover this talent? Truthfully, I have one of my closest friends, Kimberli, to thank for this. I started doing event decor and styling last year when she announced her pregnancy. My immediate reaction was, “OMG!, Can I plan the baby shower?” I wanted every detail executed to perfection and knew I would enjoy every part of the process. As we planned her shower, I fell in love with the process of bringing her vision to life. Funnily enough, another two of my close friends also got pregnant in the same year! Naturally, I was heavily involved in the planning and styling of their showers. It was through these events I realized how much I enjoyed event styling and decor.

What made you decide to turn it into a business? I never imagined that I could make a career out of event styling and decor. Growing up in the Caribbean, I felt like I was automatically fast-tracked into a medical career once I showed interest in science. Starting Simstylesit was definitely a spur of the moment.  I was demotivated with my medical career, and my anxiety was heightened due to the pandemic. The thought surfaced as I planned my 26th birthday, my second covid birthday. Being March born, covid essentially ruined all plans I had last year, and I promised myself that this year would be different.

I had the vision to create an intimate boho-themed picnic and had reached out to a couple of event planners for a quotation. I quickly realized I could comfortably style my picnic within my own budget. I remember sitting down and asking myself what was stopping me from turning this hobby I loved into a business. When I couldn’t answer the question, I decided to use my birthday picnic to launch Simstylesit.

How do you balance running a company with the demanding hours of medicine? This is hands down the most frequently asked question I receive. The short answer is, you simply find the time. I have been fortunate enough to schedule events around my work schedule. I am aware that as my business grows, this may become challenging, and I will eventually need to hire a team. Simstylesit is definitely my passion project, and I use it as a way to de-stress. It serves as my outlet, and I enjoy working on ideas and projects during my spare time.

What are your future plans for Sim Styles? Currently, I am only doing micro-events, but I would love to expand and be able to style events on a larger scale and for a larger audience in the future. Ultimately, I would want to open my own design studio where I can provide styling for all occasions: birthdays, engagements, weddings, anniversaries, date nights, you name it! One of my future dreams for Simstylesit is to collaborate/partner with luxury villas across Jamaica where I can style themed culinary experiences.

Check out Sim Styles It on Instagram.

3. Likkle Chattings Wid Dr. Risden

Hello! My name is Jodian Risden. I am 25 years old, a Scorpio and a country girl that hails from the hills of Clarendon. I am a doctor and the creator of Likkle Chattings Wid Dr. Risden, a channel that gives health-related information in a simple way, a bit about my day-to-day life and hopefully a few laughs in between. I have been a doctor for two years. I currently work at an operating theatre and am loving it.

What made you decide to start Likkle Chattings with Dr. Risden? Well it all started within my first quarantine period (yes I have been quarantined twice). I was at home and decided, hey I’m going to start a YouTube channel. I have always been the type of person to stress the need for more health promotion, as patients who understand their conditions do better. The pandemic now prevented face to face interactions and presentation within my community, so I turned to social media to ensure info would get to the people by any means possible. I was really shocked and stressed after my first post, because this was a public thing and very unlike my day to day behavior (a bit shy at times) but over time it has been great! I have gotten comfortable in front of the camera and I love making content for my people.

How do you balance running a YouTube channel with the demanding hours of medicine? I don’t actually lol. Things were a bit better when I was in other areas working. Working in operating theatre is both high stress and way more time consuming than the areas I have previously worked in so I have to create content when I get the time, even sometimes when I am really tired. However, a new transition period in terms of my work is coming soon and I plan to hit the ground running with content creation, once I am settled.

What are your future plans or goals for your channel? Wow. There is so much I want to do and achieve with this platform. I first want to standardize my posting times as well as have consistent uploads. I want to talk about many different medical topics that I know persons are afraid to ask or they just don’t fully understand. Videos that will be there as reference to show a friend or to re-watch if needed because health starts with each individual. I also want to venture more into vlogging my lifestyle and just keep it real in terms of my simple day to day life. Last but not least I want my YouTube to become a business, so check me out at Likkle Chattings with Dr. Risden on YouTube and if it’s your type of vibe, please like, subscribe, share with your mother, father, sister etc lol and hit that notification bell!

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4. Ignite Dreamz

Ignite Dreamz was created in the midst of the pandemic. It started out as just a simple idea and blossomed into a world of its own. Devised by three medical doctors, we sought to put our own unique twist on scented candles by giving our consumers just what the doctor ordered.

How did you learn about making candles? The learning process was multifaceted. It included a multitude of YouTube videos and a myriad of trial and error until we finally found the perfect formulas and even so, the learning process continues.

What made you decide to turn this into a business? As mentioned before, the idea came to life during the pandemic at a time where we are all at a transition phase of our careers. With the multiple uncertainties of life we decided to take the talent we had been blessed with and put it into a medium we had more control over.

How do you guys balance running a company with the demanding hours of medicine? The most imperative thing for us is to prioritize and schedule. We utilize a weekend where everyone is off duty to focus on producing and packaging each candle with love.

How has it been working together thus far? It’s been wonderful thus far. We initially all had a friendship and mutual respect for each other, and this process has just helped to strengthen our bonds.

What are your future plans or goals for Ignite Dreamz? Well, in the short term we will be unveiling our Somm Nice collection in June. We had given costumers a taste of the line with “latte” earlier this year and it was a huge success, so we can’t wait until everyone sees what else we have in store. Long term we plan to expand so, along with the candles, we will be making more products that involve self care.

Delight your senses with a candle from Ignite Dreamz.

5. Amanda’s 876 Adventures

My name is Amanda Bowen. I am 26 years old and I am a medical doctor who works in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and paediatric department, because I love working with kids. I love going out and what I especially love is finding untouched hidden gems deep in the middle of nowhere. If there’s an off road or path, I’ll see it and wonder where does it go, which leads me to discovering a lot of places.

What made you decide to start Amanda’s 876 Adventures? Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved travelling so I started my Instagram page and YouTube channel to get everyone, especially the locals, to know they can go out and enjoy Jamaica and that it doesn’t have to be expensive. I always want people to know that [travelling around Jamaica] can be affordable because there are some nice beautiful FREE places which are right off the side of the road and you would never know because many do not venture outside of their comfort zones. They only know about it once it becomes popular.

How do you balance running a YouTube channel and travelling domestically so often along with the demands of medicine? Sometimes work is a lot, and there are other times where I have a lot of free time. At the end of the day, there is no time that is wasted. If you make up your mind to do something and you have a plan in mind, you will always find time. People are never too busy for things that mean a lot to them. I have a goal that I’d like to reach with my YouTube channel and the plan is to stick to it and be consistent. I love bringing attention to the beautiful free & affordable places in Jamaica, including sharing their directions. Check out my playlist called hidden gems in Jamaica, and check out my hotel reviews. I try to give my honest unbiased opinions, and share the pros and cons etc.

What are your future plans or goals for your channel? In addition to bringing attention to affordable Jamaican places and activities, I want to get my channel monetized. Thus, I try to be as consistent as possible by dropping a new video each week and being as informative as possible. I’d love to get sponsors in the future to get funds which would help me reach a bigger goal of mine. Everything ties in– the Instagram, YouTube channel and group trips which I used to do before CoVid-19. When you show people these hidden gems, they’re still afraid to go by themselves so I do group trips as well.

As a fellow adventure lover, where are your top 3 places to visit in Jamaica? That’s a hard question to answer. I’d go with (in no particular order):

  1. A river in Porto Bello, Montego Bay. I’ve done several IGTV videos about it but it’s not a popular place. I personally go there after work because it is close to where I live, and a great stress-reliever. I go there during the week, and I bring people there often. It’s close to a Rasta indigenous tour as well.
  2. You have to go to Portland. There are too many nice beautiful hidden gems in Portland, and that’s why I love Portland. I feel like you could be driving right along the side of the road and you’ll see a waterfall. Not everywhere in Portland is commercialized and there are falls on top of falls, on top of falls! Even if you are the biggest explorer ever, you can’t necessarily find all of them– but I’m gonna try.
  3. Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay.

You’ll love Amanda’s 876 Adventures if you’re looking to discover Jamaica’s hidden gems. Please subscribe to her channel and find her on Instagram.

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Wrap Up

Well, there you have it! Seven gorgeous Jamaican female doctors exploring other talents and passions outside of medicine. Please check out their social media handles and support them. Feel free to check out part one here, and look out for a part 3 later this year. Also, if you are or know a Jamaican health care worker (doctor, nurse, physiotherapist etc.) doing great things outside of their careers, feel free to nominate them in the comments below.

‘Til next time!


Find Elle on FacebookPinterestInstagram and now on YouTube.

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 doctor who began this blog as a 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!

27 thoughts on “Chatting With More Creative Jamaican Medics

  1. Hi Rochelle. I knew it was bad but I had no idea it was that bad. For those of your colleagues who stay and stay for a while, I applaud them but at the same time I do respect that fact that they want more out of life that what is being offered in Jamaica. There are so many other countries where the pay for medical professionals are much better than Jamaica and it’s quite alright to explore, especially when feeling underappreciated. Thanks for shining the light on these groups (Parts I & II) of talented professionals and letting the world know their hidden talents. I love the aroma of a good smelling candles so I’m sure that’s at least one business that I will be patronizing soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s awesome and it’s Mandeville based which makes pick up easier. Honestly the struggles of being a doctor out here were not things I foresaw, or I would’ve started studying for foreign exams and wrote them a long time ago with the intention of migrating right after internship. A lot of my colleagues were foreign minded from medical school and I used to ignore the classes that were set up once or twice a semester to coach us on how to do well at them. In retrospect I wish I’d gone. I left medical school in 2019 excited to serve Jamaica and with zero intention of ever migrating. 2 years later I’m 50% convinced of leaving. But I really like the culture and beauty of this country, and nothing is better than the feeling of serving my own people whose circumstances I understand, and whose phrases make the job amusing. E.g. “mi belly a cut me”, “me belly a operate me”, “gas fly up inna him head” or “him have head cold”. I’ll never hear those phrases overseas and the thought of that saddens me. It’s like I really want to serve Jamaica but I don’t feel respected or appreciated by our leaders, and not even by senior doctors who had life easier at the time when they entered medicine. I’m waiting to hear my fate between this and next month re specializing, but if it doesn’t work out I’ll be writing the UK exams and leaving.. at least for a few years. However long it takes me to get homesick, or however long it takes me to buy a house or land and have somewhere to come back to without having a mortgage.. whichever happens first.

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    2. Interesting. So how many of those “foreign-minded” colleagues you think have migrated? I do understand your plight of serving, which is the reason why I am ready to return home. Unlike you, I’ve done enough time outside to be able to do that so if it’s something you are passionate about, then go for it. Like you said, you can always return home when you have fulfilled certain aspects of your life.

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    3. I’m not sure if any from my year group have migrated but at least 6 so far from the year above me have been successful, and they always have good stories to share about doing less work and getting 5 or 6x more pay so it will always encourage others to try for overseas as well

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    4. I also have so many other interests outside of medicine that I’ve also considered staying and just creating other streams of income. Ideally I’d love to do private practice too but it’s not feasible right now. I wouldn’t be able to accept health cards from the major providers until 5 years post-graduation, and that in and of itself is a major limitation. It also will take some time before I can break even or reel in a profit and I can’t stand the financial insecurity of that right now.

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  2. Thank you for this blog post. It was a refreshing and eye opening read. It also gave me the encouragement I needed to know that it is completely ok to be a multi-passionate individual. I’ll be supporting all these doctors & their ventures soon!

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  3. I love this so much! It’s wonderful to see healthcare professionals do things other meaningful things for themselves besides the selfless, incredible work they do. When I got my first shot, I complimented the nurse who injected me on her nails. She said she designs and paints her own nails! I praised her for doing a wonderful self-care thing and then thanked her for all she has done to help with the pandemic. I think I made her day

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    1. That’s so cool. You really must have made her day! Health care steals so much of our time, and our lives revolve around our work so much. Our personal life and relationships often suffer, and our hobbies and passions get put on a backburner because we are often too busy or tired in between shifts to do anything. Thus, making time to do anything on the side despite the rough schedule is always commendable. Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you enjoyed the read 🙂

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    2. That’s so true about healthcare. Not to mention that in some countries, there is a shortage of healthcare workers. I think this pandemic has shown how real burnout is in that field. I love seeing people in those professions making time for themselves and the things they love 😊. You’re welcome!

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    3. Our shortage here is terrible too. It’s rare we’ve ever had a full complement of staff, especially nurses. They get paid like 600USD a month in Jamaica, and can migrate and make easily 4 times that or more, so they leave. In fact the US actively recruits Jamaican nurses. They have online and face-to-face recruitment drives in Jamaica so I’d say roughly 25% are gone by 2 years after graduating nursing school. Similarly doctors’ starting base pay is roughly 1000USD a month so we leave too, and make easily 10 times that figure. Money and lack of resources and mismanagement of the public sector frustrates many local doctors and nurses, and then you end up having to do A LOT of overtime to earn more money at the expense of sleep, family & a personal life. Our shortages are often filled by Cuban + Indian nurses, and Burmese, Cuban and Nigerian doctors but even so, the short staff is horrible.

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    4. That’s really bad! Thanks for sharing that. It’s a shame that so many talented people who also know what is typical for health in a country are leaving. I have heard that American medical students have been moving to Caribbean countries to study because the price of medical school is through the roof, but then they don’t end up staying. It goes to show that a lot of countries need to reform their health systems to make sure all their citizens have access to care

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  4. So many gorgeous, inspiring women in this post! To be a doctor and have a busy work schedule is one thing, but to find the time and passion for a side business is another; I can barely juggle my office job with blogging! I enjoyed reading your last chat with Jamaican medics back in December, and I thoroughly enjoyed this one, too. Thanks for sharing, Elle!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, and you’re welcome! 🙂 It certainly isn’t easy.. sometimes the job wins, sometimes the fatigue after being on call wins, but where there’s a will there’s a way they say. E.g. this post became 1 week late, so I just decided to make it a June 1st article haha. Thanks for stopping by, and look out for a part 3 sometime later this year 🙂

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  5. Oh I love some many things about this post. So many ‘women in science” exploring and sharing their creative selves. Young doctors dipping into entrepreneurship. Medics demonstrating that medicine does NOT have to be all-encompassing and all-consuming. This post is reFRESHing. Yay!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I really enjoy seeing doctors exploring their other talents and passions too. Medicine certainly doesn’t have to be all-consuming although it’s easy for it to become that way if we aren’t careful. So happy you enjoyed the post 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

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