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Cayman Parent | Articles | Community | Q & A | Cayman’s Committed Medical Experts | 2020

Q & A | Cayman’s Committed Medical Experts | 2020

Dr Keelin Fox

Dr Fox is a Dentist at The Dental Centre. Originally from Ireland, she is married with three children under the age of nine.

Why did you decide to study dentistry?
As a young child, I had a fear of going to the dentist! I was fortunate to have a close family friend who was a dentist; I completed work experience with her and those few weeks changed my perceptions and planted the seed to pursue a career in dentistry.

Did you ever want to quit?
Dentistry, like many other professions, is demanding on your body and mind, so it’s especially important in this profession to maintain a good work-life balance. The mouth is a very small workspace and procedures can be intense. But when you make a difference in someone’s life and see how happy they are, that’s a really great feeling and why I’ve never considered quitting.

 

How did you decide which area of dentistry to specialise in?
I’m a general dental surgeon so I treat the full spectrum of dental issues in kids and adults, which means I’m never bored! I am currently studying for a Masters in Orthodontics in London.

What was the toughest moment of your career to date?
When I first qualified, I felt overwhelmed. I worked in the Accident and Emergency at the Dublin Dental Hospital and was exposed to a lot of emergency patients with complex needs. I learned so much that year but I had to adapt quickly to the demands of the job.

Who has been your main professional inspiration?
I would say my previous employer back in Ireland, Dr McAllister. He was instrumental in setting up the Irish Oral Cancer Awareness programme that has saved many lives and fully supported me promoting this programme here in Cayman, which we run every year with the help of the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.


Dr Jasmina Marinova

Dr Marinova is a Paediatrician at Integra Healthcare. She is Bulgarian and is married with two grown up children.

Why did you decide to study medicine?
At school I was obsessed with Chemistry and everybody thought I would be another Marie Curie, but one day I woke up and realised that people matter more than atoms and molecules.

Did you ever want to quit medicine?
Yes, but not because of medicine. I started my career in difficult times for my home country and doctor’s wages wouldn’t pay the bills. It was my loving husband who persuaded me to stay in the profession I loved, taking the whole financial burden on his shoulders.

How did you decide to specialise in paediatrics?
As a fun-loving junior doctor I found paediatric patients funny, open, honest and unbelievably genuine, so I was naturally attracted to working with children. Little did I know at the time how challenging and rewarding paediatrics actually is!

What is the best part of being a doctor in Cayman?
The people! I love our unique international community.

What was the toughest moment of your career to date?
It’s been a long career, so I can think of many tough moments. However, I think it is the emotions you face when mother nature renders medicine powerless to help.

If you were to work in a developing country, where would you choose?
My family and I support the Bansang Hospital in rural Gambia. In 2014 we spent time there and introduced the POPS (Paediatric Observation Priority Score) system to recognise sick children, as well as delivering training on neonatal life support. Part of my heart will always remain with the wonderful people we met there, and undoubtedly I will go back one day to do more.


Dr Sripadh Upadhya

Dr Sripadh is a Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist at Health City. He was born in India and is married with two young sons.

At what age did you decide to study medicine?
I am a science person and chose science and biology during High School, aspiring to be the first medical doctor in my family.

Did you ever want to quit medicine?
Never! It was always my passion to be a physician.

How did you decide which area of medicine to specialise in?
During my med school days, I was inspired by the dedication and relentless work of Paediatricians and the smile they brought about on children’s and their parents’ faces. Also, I was pained by the suffering of children with heart disease. I decided to pursue paediatric cardiology to bring smiles to these little ones’ faces.

 

What was the toughest moment of your career to date?
I would say I have had two challenging career phases. The first one was the tough task of choosing between two specialties after med school. I literally had 24 hours to choose – and I don’t regret choosing paediatrics as my career choice. The second one was the decision to move to Cayman to lead and build the Cardiology department, leaving an established practice in India.

If you were asked to teach your skills in a developing country, where would you choose?
It would definitely be Haiti. I have visited Haiti many times to conduct cardiac screening camps for diagnosing and triaging children with heart ailments. Training the health professionals there would make a considerable difference in the way they manage children with heart disease. In fact, we are currently training a young man from Haiti who assisted us with translation. He is in India now furthering his skills and he would be a great asset for the health care of his community.


Dr Sook Yin

A General Practitioner at Seven Mile Clinic, Dr Yin is British/Caymanian and has two children, aged 24 and 27.

Why did you decide to study medicine?
When I was at primary school I had classmates who were handicapped due to Polio, but they never let this stop them from doing anything. They held their pencils with their toes and had better handwriting than I have! That was a defining moment for me as I knew I wanted to be in the field of Medicine and understand what we can do to help and heal people.

Did you ever want to quit medicine as a junior doctor?
I studied Medicine in Queens University Belfast in the 70s and worked in A&E in Belfast City Hospital as a Junior Doctor. Those were very difficult times as that was the height of terrorism in Northern Ireland. We were dealing with gunshot wounds and victims of sectarian attacks and bomb blasts, not to mention distressed families. Having to break the news to family members of patients who could not be resuscitated was the hardest thing to do as a Doctor. There were times I wanted to quit, but I didn’t and this experience has made me a stronger person and maybe a better Doctor as a result.

How did you decide which area of medicine to specialise in?
I started off wanting to be an OB/GYN as I wanted to deliver babies but when I finished all the rotations, I realised I love all aspects of medicine and that’s why I chose to be a GP/Family Physician.

What is the best thing about working in Cayman?
The wonderful people, who embraced me with open arms as one of their own when I arrived here as young Doctor in 1987! I had great mentors here who guided me, as suddenly I had to get used to the Cayman accent and the Caribbean culture and the wonderful food. My patients have been my best teachers and now I have 4 generations of family members who are now patients of my clinic, from great-grandparents to great-grandchildren.

 

 
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