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The Daily Dish Bosses of Bravo

Lights, Camera, Anesthesia: RHOM’s Dr. Nicole Martin Is a Force on the Small Screen *and* in the Operating Room

The Real Housewives of Miami cast member spoke exclusively to about her career journey and her aspirations for the future.

By Allison Crist

There aren’t many Real Housewives — nay, reality stars in general — who can wield a syringe and a mic pack with equal finesse. However, The Real Housewives of Miami’s Dr. Nicole Martin manages to do both on a near-daily basis. 

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A board-certified anesthesiologist who’s also an attending physician at the Lennar Foundation Medical Center as well as an award-winning teacher and lecturer, Nicole spoke exclusively to about her bustling career, goals for the future, and how she makes it all work (especially considering the fact that she is engaged and has a 4-year-old son, Greyson!).

Nicole’s Early Aspirations

From the very first toy stethoscope she clutched in her hands, Nicole’s path was set. “I always remember being a little kid and just wanting to be a doctor, and playing doctor with my dolls,” she told “I always was just fascinated with the field.”

As Nicole got older, what had once captured her attention as a curious fascination now revealed itself as a calling she couldn’t ignore. “My freshman year of high school, when I took an anatomy class, I just had the most incredible teacher — her name was Mrs. Adams — and she made anatomy and physiology the most fascinating subject. We did a mink dissection, and I was just so in awe, honestly, about how the human body works. And I said, ‘This is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I just want to practice medicine and learn more,’” Nicole recalled. “I think it was really at that point, freshman year, that I was 100% certain that I wanted to pursue a career in medicine.”

By the time college rolled around, Nicole decided to do exactly that. 

Dr. Nicole Martin in her uniform.

How Nicole Found Her Niche

Fast-forward to med school, where Nicole was rotating through all the different sub-specialties. “There was always something about each specialty that I was like, ‘Oh, I like this, but I don’t really like this part about it.’ Like, I loved OB-GYN, but I didn’t like the clinic part. I loved the deliveries and the labor aspect, but I didn’t want to do Pap smears and health maintenance,” she explained. “And then I did anesthesia, and it just had everything that I wanted.”

Nicole noted that there’s a lot to love about the specialty, but she’s particularly grateful that “every day is different.” 

“You meet new people every day. You can be taking care of a newborn at 7 a.m., and then at 10 p.m., a 92-year-old,” she said. “It’s just a constant changing, and every case is different. To me, it just kind of had everything I wanted in a specialty.”

Dr. Nicole Martin at the RHOM premiere party.

What You Might Not Know About Nicole’s Job

If RHOM Season 5 made one thing abundantly clear, it’s that Nicole’s profession is prone to, er, misconceptions. The biggest? Well, that depends if you’re asking a surgeon or a patient. When it comes to the latter, she pointed out that many people who are preparing to go under the knife are rightfully selective when choosing a surgeon, but they “never really think twice about who their anesthesiologist is, or what their training is, or what their background is.”

“[But] I think it’s equally as important,” Nicole continued. “Because the surgeon is doing the surgery, but it’s the anesthesiologist who’s making sure your vitals are appropriate, making sure that you’re stable during the procedure. If there’s blood loss, we’re the ones giving the blood transfusions. So I think it’s equally as important to pay attention to who your anesthesia provider is, to ask questions, and don’t just focus on the surgical side of things.”

Nicole’s Multiple Roles

Nicole’s schedule is, as she put it, “very interesting.” She works full-time, but instead of doing the standard 40-hour schedule (i.e., 9 to 5, Monday through Friday), she does one 24-hour shift and two regular day shifts. 

“So I work full-time, but in three days, if that makes sense,” Nicole explained. “And then I film, usually, on my days off.”

The RHOM ladies at an event.

Oh, and did she mention that she also teaches? “I’ve been at the University of Miami since 2001. I did my undergrad training here, I did my medical school and my residency [here]. It’s just such an incredible institution,” she explained. “And I didn’t want to go into private practice and just take care of patients. I wanted to give back to the community and give back to the the school that did so much for me. So it’s important for me to be involved in teaching and training the residents.”

For Nicole, teaching “adds another layer to the profession.” She’s helping patients and training future doctors.

Nicole’s Proudest Moment — and Her Most Difficult

Nicole’s career has been adorned with numerous achievements, but her most memorable came a few years into her role as an attending physician. “The University of Miami was opening up a brand-new facility, and it was kind of gonna be like the upper echelon. It was gonna be this amazing facility [with] all the new technology. And I was pretty early on in my training, and everybody wanted to come work at this new building, and I was one of the ones who was picked to kind of come and spearhead the anesthesia division here, doing sports medicine and nerve blocks. And I’ve been here ever since!” Nicole shared. “I’m so happy here. We have an incredible sports medicine institute. I did a fellowship in nerve blocks and regional anesthesia, and so I work very closely with our orthopedic surgeon doing the nerve blocks here.”

“It was just such an honor that so many people wanted to come work at this place," she continued, “and me being so early on in my training, I think they recognized that I could really help grow the practice here.”

Dr. Nicole Martin at WWHL.

Of course, behind every proud moment is a journey filled with challenges and obstacles that tested Nicole’s resilience and determination. She pointed to her residency as being particularly difficult, explaining, “You’re working like 80-hour workweeks when you’re a resident. You’re in the hospital for 30-something hours straight. And it’s just really grueling.”

One day, however, stands out as being particularly debilitating. “I will never forget, I was on my hematology oncology rotation, and I was on call that night. And I had probably admitted six or seven just really sick patients. And you’ve got the floor calling you that other patients aren’t doing well, and it was like 4 in the morning, and I hadn’t slept in I don’t know how many hours,” Nicole recalled. “I called my mom crying, and I was like, ‘I don’t think I can do this anymore, Mom. I’m just so tired of patients trying to die.’ I was just so mentally and physically exhausted.”

Thankfully, her mom proved why she was the perfect person to call. As Nicole continued, “She was like, ‘It’s OK, just breathe.’ She was like, ‘Do you want me to come to the hospital and bring you a coffee?’ She was so cute, you know? Like, ‘Your shift is almost over. You got this.’ She gave me the best pep talk at 4 in the morning, half asleep. Poor thing. And I remember it clearly. I remember the call room, and being there, and calling her and just being so overwhelmed. But she was right. It was just a bad day, and I just got through it. And then the next day was better.”

“We all have bad days,” Nicole added. “You just can’t focus on that. You kind of just have to get through it and know that, yeah, today was bad, but tomorrow will be better.”

Nicole’s Continually Growing Career Bucket List

Put simply, Nicole’s ambition knows no bounds. So it’s no surprise that she still has a lot she wants to accomplish. “I’m always telling [my fiancé] Anthony I want to go back to school for something,” she said. “I just enjoy reading. So one thing that’s definitely on my bucket list would be to write a book. That’s something that I would love to do.”

Dr. Nicole Martin and Anthony Lopez celebrating their engagement in front of a gold photo backdrop.

More specifically, “I think I want to write a kids’ book, interestingly enough,” Nicole continued. “I love being a mom, and I’m trying to instill a passion for reading and books in Greyson, so we read a ton. Every night, we have to read two books. It’s such a special bonding time. So I would love to write a kids’ book and be able to share that and have other people, you know, enjoy it with their kids. That’s on the bucket list of things to do.”

How Nicole Wants Her Work to Inspire Her Son

Speaking of Greyson, Nicole hopes her own career inspires her son to also “find something that he’s passionate about.”

“There’s that saying, ‘If you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work,’ you know? ‘You’ll never work a day in your life.’ And I just want him to find something that he’s passionate about,” Nicole explained. “We’re very fortunate to be blessed financially [to where] I don’t need to work, but I come to work because I enjoy what I do. I love taking care of patients. I love helping people who are in pain. And I want [Greyson] to find something that he’s passionate about, that he enjoys doing. So I hope that by Anthony and I continuing to work, because it’s things we enjoy, that he sees how passionate we are about our careers and that he’s motivated to find whatever it is that he’s passionate about.”

You can see more from Nicole on The Real Housewives of Miami.

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