Jamaican Diaspora 20 under 40: Amaya Lewis: The Dancer Seeking to be a Healer

Amaya Lewis The Dancer Seeking to be a Healer

The 24 year old professional dancer and Pre-Health (orthopedic and sports medicine) student was born in Florida, and prior to embarking in pursuit of her medical degree at the University of Florida in 2014, she gained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Education.

Although a skilled and avid creative dancer, Amaya is dedicated to a medical career. As a dancer in her teens and as a young adult, she experienced complex injuries which led to her being profoundly interesed in the musculoskeletal human system.

“I am inspired daily by dancers, athletes, and those who are physically active, who have successfully recovered from debilitating injuries, through the specialized orthopedic care of sports medicine. Providing to allow patients to return to the activities they love, while also improving athletic performance and ability, is a very rewarding career for me.”

Her goal is to become a sports medicine physician to Olympic athletes, as an on-site provider for Team USA, and hopefully Jamaica. She wants to conduct research in the pathophysiology of people of African descent, “It’s no surprise the illnesses prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa are different from those faced in North America, and it is worth it to investigate whether there is a correlation between common pathologies of African descendant groups in North American, to those throughout western Africa. I believe we ought to be more sensitive to these differences and treat accordingly.”

Amaya was  included in a health mission to Clarendon, Jamaica, establishing make-shift clinics in local churches and community centers, providing care and medication to residents.

She advises the youth in the Diaspora “Do not be afraid to try different things, but always consider how you can utilize your passion to change the world. Always seek to leave a legacy that makes your family, community, and yourself, better.”

“This mindset influences me to make the best of my abilities, and impacting difference as a humanitarian.” The advocacies she has witnessed her parents fight for within the Jamaican healthcare system, she is “charged” to truly advocate for the medical justice of minorities and the socioeconomically disadvantaged.

She said she is fortunate that as a Jamaican-American she has come to know “the best and worst of both worlds”, and even more fortunate to be in a position to create effective change.

 

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