Between working shifts, keeping current with medical research, managing life outside of work, and maybe raising a family, most emergency physicians have a lot on their plates. Now imagine adding a grueling filming schedule and the publicity appearances and other responsibilities that come with being a television star to the mix. That’s just what emergency physician Damon C. Kimes, MD, and his wife, Heavenly Kimes, DDS, a dentist, decided to do when they joined the cast of the Bravo reality show Married to Medicine. The show follows the lives of several Atlanta-based physicians and their spouses as they work to balance careers, family, and friendships.
Dr. Kimes recently spoke with ACEP Now Medical Editor-in-Chief Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD, FACEP, about why he and his wife decided to join the show and the challenges of juggling career, family, and TV. Here are some highlights from their conversation.
KK: Where are you located?
DK: We’re about 20 minutes outside of Atlanta. I did my training at Grady Memorial Hospital for Emory. I was there from 2001 to 2004.
KK: How long have you two been married?
DK: Almost 20 years. This past August 16 will make 18 years married, but we dated for about three years before that.
KK: You thinking you’re going to make it to 20 years? 🙂
DK: Oh, yeah. If nothing else, everything that’s transpired has really made us a lot closer. Probably the opposite of what people might think, just doing something where it’s you against the world, it’s really brought us really close.
KK: Let me tell you what brought you and I together. So here I am on the elliptical, and Bravo is on the TV, Married to Medicine. You two are going out on a date night, and your daughter told your wife, “You are not going out dressed like that!” Then it comes out in the discussion that you’re an emergency physician. “Oh, my gosh! It’s one of my colleagues,” I thought. I got really interested in it at that point. When did you get involved with the show?
DK: Actually, we were involved from the onset. There is a young lady who is on the show, Mariah Huq, who heard about us through mutual friends. Dr. Eugene Harris and Toya Bush-Harris are friends of ours also. I actually helped Dr. Harris get his first ER job. Toya was already on the pilot for the show, and she said, “You know, I think Heavenly Kimes would really fit well.” We made it on one of the episodes, a very controversial episode. There was actually a fight between a couple of young ladies.