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Cayman Parent | Articles | Community | Community Spotlight | Ask a Doctor Q & A

Community Spotlight | Ask a Doctor Q & A

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Cayman’s best doctors answer Cayman Parent’s burning questions on what inspired them to become a doctor, what they love about being a doctor in the Cayman Islands and what advice they would give to those interested in a career in the medical profession.

Dr. Linden R. Swan

Consultant Paediatrician and Deputy Head Paediatrics at the Cayman Health Services Authority

Why did you choose your field of speciality?

The truth is, I didn’t choose this field, it chose me. I wanted to do Obstetrics and Gynaecology, but at the time of choosing, during my House Officer Clerkship, there was no vacancy in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. I was to ‘hold on’ in Paediatrics for 3 months until a vacancy became available. I am still holding on in Paediatrics after 25 years, and I have grown to love it.

Who inspired you to become a doctor?

An elderly woman by the name of Miss Clarkie lived opposite to me when I was in my early teens in Guyana. Daily, as I was about to head to school, she would open her front door and shout “Doc.” It was like her blessing me, and I would wave hello to her. Apparently, I always looked sharp and studious in those days.

Would you like your own children to work in medicine?

Yes. If that is what they want. No coercion. The world has changed a lot since I started medicine 25 years ago, and there are now many new ways to make a rewarding living, unlike a few decades ago.

Which doctor or medical professional on island would you recommend for a ‘Golden Stethoscope Award’ and why?

Dr. Delroy Anthony Jefferson. Dr. Jeff, as he is often called, is among the most highly qualified doctors, anywhere. Yet, he is the most simple, decent, and understanding human being.

What would you say to a child interested in becoming a doctor?

It’s rewarding, but if you are not a ‘people person’ don’t do it, because you may frustrate yourself and others. And if you are doing it, just enjoy it. Time goes by quickly and in no time, you will be looking back and you would have forgotten the punishing years as a medical student.

 


Dr. Lisa Joels

Previously a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust in the UK before joining Integra in Cayman earlier this year.

Why did you choose your field of speciality?

I did my attachment in Obstetrics and Gynaecology as a fourth-year medical student and realised immediately this was the specialty I wanted to train for. I loved being able to be so hands-on and have always felt it’s a huge privilege to be part of a baby’s birth which is such a special moment.

What is your greatest strength?

I think my strengths are my attention to detail and my empathy with my patients. I, like most doctors, am a bit OCD in making sure that everything is done and results chased up. I also respect my patient’s dignity and care about them, so do my very best to communicate in a clear and empathic way.

What are the challenges you have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown period?

I moved to the Island the day before lockdown started and went straight into 14 days quarantine so that was a pretty challenging start to my life in Cayman. Once I got to work I think one of the hardest things was that we couldn’t allow partners to attend the clinic and I think it’s so important that women are supported through pregnancy and miscarriage by their partner.

If you had to write a biography who would it be dedicated to?

My two lovely daughters.

Which actor would you choose to play you in a film about your life?

I really can’t imagine anyone making a film of my life, but I do admire Meryl Streep’s acting skills if anyone was going to tell the story of a doctor juggling work, family and outside interests.

 


 

Dr. Samantha Digby

Dr. Digby moved to Cayman in 2008 and worked at CTMH Doctor’s Hospital before joining The Family Practice as a General Practitioner in 2017.

Who or what inspired you to become a doctor?

I was definitely drawn to the Casualty and ER TV shows! I always liked talking to people and listening to their stories, plus I enjoyed science at school, so ‘medicine’ seemed like a good fit when I was 17 years old!

What is your greatest achievement to date?

Getting married to my lovely husband, who was the Cruise Director on board the Carnival Jubilee when I was the Doctor. We spent 3 years working on board ship together, before leaving, starting a family and moving to the Cayman Islands.

Which 3 famous (real or fictional) doctors would you like on your team and why?

Definitely House, played by Hugh Laurie – I love his wit and his refusal to deal with nonsense, plus he knows a thing or two about medicine. ‘The Doctor’ from Star Trek Voyager (who wouldn’t want one of those hand-held scanners to do the work for them?). And finally, Dr. Pimple Popper – I think she has a pretty good job too!

What are the challenges you have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown period?

Telemedicine and telephone consults are not suitable alternatives for most consultations. Whilst this is totally the right thing to do, it does make our jobs much more challenging. We often don’t realise how many clues we pick up from body language and facial expressions.

Which restaurant is your favourite for take-away?

I can often be found at Thai Orchid! I think the staff know my whole family by our first names now. I love their sushi, the Pad Thai and the Panang curry!

 


 

Dr. Talia Davidson

Dr. Talia Davidson trained in Canada and worked as a dentist in Toronto before moving to Cayman joining My Island Dentist in 2019.

Who inspired you to become a dentist?

My grandfather. He went to McGill University in Canada and graduated from Dentistry in 1955. He opened up a dental practice in Ottawa, Canada. In addition to running a successful dental practice for 40 years, he provided free dental work to those less fortunate and also provided free dental work to immigrants arriving in Canada.

What are your strengths as a dentist?

My main strength as a dentist is that I have excellent clinical skills. I take pride in my technical work with patients. I am also a great team player and love working with my team at the office. I am always trying to grow and improve every day.

What do you enjoy the most about working in Cayman?

I enjoy the sense of community that we have in Cayman, the friends that I have made while living here and that I always look forward to coming back after a trip off the island.

Which restaurant is your favourite for take-away?

I love picking up sushi at Yoshi Sushi after a long day.

Which 3 famous (real or fictional) doctors would you like on your team and why?

Dr. Michael Apa is a well-known cosmetic dentist. I learn so much from his lectures. Dr. John Kois is a well-known dentist who inspires me and I would love to go to one of his continuing education courses in Seattle. Finally, Dr. Terry Dubrow from the show “Botched” would be a great person to have on my team, he has a great sense of humour!

If you had to write a biography who would it be dedicated to?

The biography would be dedicated to my parents, Lynn and Ron, and to my Husband, Philip. My parents and my Husband have always been my biggest supporters in all of my endeavours and I could not have achieved my goals without their guidance and support.

 

 
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