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Fearless Female

Ten questions with Dr. Janaya Raynor

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Dr Janaya Raynor (right) pictured with her colleagues. *Photo supplied

When Dr. Janaya Raynor was a high school student at public high school, CedarBridge Academy, she could have easily earned a scholarship to any of the private schools in Bermuda. But she was determined to prove that public schools can produce first rate students. And what a point she has made!

The 32-year old, who is currently working and residing in New York City, shares with SheHub that she initially aspired to be an air traffic controller, but by the time she turned 14, she knew she wanted to work in the medical field.

What inspired you to become a doctor? My first exposure to healthcare was from my mother. She is a Registered Nurse, so I spent a lot of time around the emergency room with her and got to know some of the emergency room doctors pretty well. I even considered becoming a nurse at some point until I learned the difference between each professional role. I enjoy the problem-solving aspect of medicine and I like to be able to figure out what is wrong, and treat patients.

Take us back to your first day in medical school? Was it overwhelming?  The first day of medical school is very similar to the first day of college and just an adjustment to the work load.
 The first day of my anatomy lab was probably the most significant as we have a human body to dissect and learn from. That was the moment it actually felt like I was in medical school.

I travelled to the commonwealth of Dominica in the West Indies for medical school, so the first day I landed on the island I was a little shell shocked.  It’s not every day that you look across from the airport runway and see cows roaming on red clay hills with a little banana patch in the background

What is your take on those who say a student cannot receive a good education in the public education system?  Having lived through the public education system I’ve learned that there will always be naysayers and Negative Nancys.

And criticism of any system can be used to foster change and improvements. But I find the problem comes when people have more disdain for the system than they actually have confidence in our young people.

There are certainly more success stories that aren’t highlighted coming from the public education system. I am one of those examples.

Our children will do well as long as their strengths and interests are emphasised and that they are given adequate support at home and in school.

Do you think that one day you will return to Bermuda? Why or why not? I definitely think I will return to live and work in Bermuda eventually. Hopefully in the next year or two I want to be able to give back to my community that raised me. I also want to give young people an example to look up to. I want them to know that anything is possible, and they can create whatever they dream of.

What would you say to anyone who is considering becoming a doctor? For anyone who wants to become a doctor I would advise them to do some serious and deep soul-searching to make sure that this is the profession that they really want.
Most people only see the glamorous side of things, but I don’t think some comprehend the long hours spent studying, the missed friends and family events and the sacrifice that goes with it. And definitely don’t do it for the money!

What trait do you possess that has best helped you to become a doctor?  I think my perseverance has gotten me to the point I am today. Never giving up even though times are difficult and exhausting. The strong will to continue persevering has carried me to this point, and hopefully will continue to take me further.

What do you like to do in your free time?  SLEEP! LOL I work a lot of hours, so during most of my downtime, I rest.
But I really enjoy spending quality time with friends and family.  I’d like more time to travel the world.

What do you miss most about Bermuda? Fresh fish, loquats, and lobster! Having lived away from the island for so long and I have come to know that there are certain things that we take for granted while living there.

To be able to see the ocean from any point on the island, to see stars every night and hear whistling frogs in the background—it’s the small things that I miss the most

And the least? The small minded “crabs in a bucket” mentality that comes with living on an island. I don’t miss the pettiness. I face death every day; some things just aren’t important in the grand scheme of things.

If you could suggest three places for your overseas friends to see in Bermuda, where would they be?  When I meet new friends, I tell them they have to come and visit Bermuda during one of our traditional holidays. Cup Match is my favourite!

Jobsons Cove/ Warwick Long Bay. I like that you can be the only person on the beach sometimes

Astwood Park. It’s quiet and serene. You can stare off into the horizon for hours

Fort Scaur at sunset; it’s breathtaking.

What words of wisdom would you offer to an aspiring doctor? Keep pushing. Follow your dreams. Work hard. Don’t listen to people when they tell you that you should have a ‘back up plan’ in life. Not making is not an option.

Surround yourself with positive people who also have dreams of their own but still make time to support you with yours.  Remember the people who make time for you.

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