Meet Dr. Kimani Borland, A Naturopathic Physician, from Jamaica, in the Rogue Valley
Interview by Jim Teece
Dr. Kimani Borland was born in Jamaica, earned her naturopathic medical degree in the US in 2018 and went back to Jamaica to work part time for a year and a half.
Then the pandemic hit and in February 2021 she decided to move her family to Medford to work with a friend she met in Medical School.
I interviewed Dr. Borland over Zoom and asked how she ended up in Southern Oregon with the Siskiyou Vital Medicine (SVM) team.
“We both were at Bastyr University in Washington State together. And he was maybe three years ahead of me. So when I was a freshman, he was a senior on his way out. His wife and I became really good friends. He and my husband became really good friends, our kids became really good friends. He had some family in the area, and he moved here and opened a clinic here. So anytime we would visit or call, he would always be like, come work with me, come work with me, and I never took him seriously until COVID hits and we had kind of a random interaction. And then me and my husband were like, you know what, we might just do that, and we did.”
It’s been a year. How has the transition been from life in Jamaica to life in Southern Oregon?
“It’s really good. I mean, you should know that when you’re kind of buried in work, then you just kind of do what you have to do. But it’s beautiful. This area is really amazing. And, you know, when I was in Seattle, I was even more busy, so I really didn’t get out much. McClane and his wife and his family and the whole clinic, they’re always outdoors and always doing something. So we’re trying to learn the ways of southern Oregon and do all the hikes and all the trips. It’s really, really beautiful. The smoke was a tough season. So I’m trying to be just stay ahead of that this year, and maybe plan a trip or something… that was rough. But apart from that, great, it’s really chill. As compared to some of the other cities I’ve lived in. Kind of a nice, everyone’s really nice. So no complaints so far.”
What challenges have you faced being Black in Southern Oregon?
“I’m from Jamaica, my experience of being Black is a little bit different. In Jamaica everyone’s Black. And that’s not true, of course, but as a general rule its a predominantly Black country. So the kinds of biases and discriminations are different. Sometimes they’re more based on class. For me, I grew up as a Rasta and so a lot of that was based on, what my hair looks like and what my faith was. So I came with a little bit of a different experience to America and had to kind of learn what it means to be Black in America, and that continues to be a learning process. I would say the most challenging part being here is just that the the diversity is so low.
So even for my kids, it’s lack of exposure to different types of people. I would say that’s probably the biggest thing.
And then of course, my patient population also reflects that lack of diversity. So just personally, I would like to see and be around more Black people just culturally, that’s probably the biggest way. “
How about your kids?
“I have a 13 year old and a six year old. My six year old is at a Montessori school, which we really, really love. I think, sometimes when you go for those more alternative schools, you tend to attract a little bit more diversity. So I’m really pleased at that school and my older one is at a private school here, and it’s rough. It’s rough on many levels. He’s probably literally one of three people in the whole school that has some color, although they do have a large Asian population. I think that is helpful in some ways as well. So I would say I have not found my most ideal schooling situation for my oldest yet, and I’m still looking, but I do think that the options we have for more alternative schooling options are pretty minimal. If I compare it to Seattle or California.”
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
“It’s still primary care. But the approach is a little bit different. And I do think that a lot of immigrants and Black people look for this kind of approach. It’s more natural prevention focused. I actually think that’s a big reason why, people might be attracted to come and see me.
So many of us have that, as part of how we grew up. Our mom made us tea when we’re sick. We didn’t go to the doctor. “
Dr. Kimani is currently accepting new patients and clients. Please schedule an appointment to get your first visit or online consultation.
Dr. Kimani Borland
Siskiyou Vital Medicine
940 Ellendale Drive
Medford, Oregon 97504
Dr. Kimani Borland is a naturopathic physician from Kingston, Jamaica, now practicing at Siskiyou Vital Medicine Clinic in Medford, Oregon. With an undergraduate degree in Human Biology and International Public Health from Stanford University, Dr. Kimani was exposed to a diverse range of cultural approaches to health around the world. After one year of medical school in Jamaica and two yoga teacher training courses, it became clear to her that a holistic approach to medicine was the only way to foster true healing. In an attempt to expand her knowledge and experience of this approach to medicine she left Jamaica and found her new home at Bastyr University in Washington state to study Naturopathic Medicine: a comprehensive system of health and medicine that fuses the global healing arts and philosophies with science and conventional medical care. She earned her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine in 2018 and moved back home to practice alongside her mentor at an Integrative Medical Clinic in Kingston, Jamaica before moving to Oregon to join the Siskiyou Vital Medicine (SVM) team! SVM is a direct primary care practice that provides comprehensive primary care as well as specialty naturopathic care to hundreds of patients in the Valley. Dr. Borland’s clinical interests include all aspects of primary care medicine and prevention, with a particular focus on women’s health, cardiovascular disease, digestive health, counseling and stress management. She invites the Black community in the Valley to experience the compassionate and competent care of Siskiyou Vital Medicine for all their primary health care needs.
Personal website: https://www.wellnesswithdrk.com
Clinic website: https://siskiyouvitalmedicine.com