Occupation: Pulmonary and critical care physician
Family: Married for 13 years to Laura; children are Claire Kathryn, 9, and Henry, 5.
It all started with a Post It note.
Dr. James Shamiyeh was rotating through a family medicine clinic in Covington, Tenn., when he met the woman who would become his wife. He was a third-year medical student, and Laura was getting her masters in nutrition. She was rotating through a family medicine clinic in Covington.
“We were set up to meet by one of the nurses,” he says. “I met her, and one of the nurses came up later and asked what I thought. I said she was really cute.
“They gave me a Post It note with her phone number, and I called her that night. We talked a few times, set up a date, and we’ve been together ever since. I still have that Post It.”
Shamiyeh was born in Knoxville and spent two years at Cedar Bluff Elementary before his father went back to active duty with the Air Force, and they moved. “We went to Miami for two years, then most of my growing up was in Dayton, Ohio,” he says. “We lived there eight years and that’s where I graduated from high school.”
Shamiyeh earned a mechanical engineering degree from Georgia Tech and attended medical school in Memphis at the University of Tennessee. “From there I did all my post medical school training in Birmingham, Ala., at the University of Alabama at Birmingham,” he says. Shamiyeh and his family moved to Maryville when he took a job at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. “The chief financial officer of our group was born and raised in Maryville. He really talked it up. We checked it out, fell in love and that’s why we are here.”
Shamiyeh says he has been impressed with the sense of community and the quality of the schools in Maryville. “There’s this sense of belonging, and the fact it is hard to go just about anywhere without running into people you know,” he says.
When he’s not at work, Shamiyeh says he enjoys spending time with his wife and kids. “I work so much that, basically, anytime off I’m spending with my family,” he says. “We’re also a part of a supper club that meets monthly. I like to hang out with our group of friends at Supper Club.”
Shamiyeh says the coolest thing about being a dad is just the realization that there is someone on the face of the Earth he would do anything for. “Also, just watching them develop and seeing them become who they are,” he says. “It is a wonder to behold.”
Here is James Shamiyeh:
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
From “This is Spinal Tap” by vocalist David St. Hubbins when the band’s drummer spontaneously caught fire on stage: ‘Dozens of people spontaneously combust every year. It’s just not that widely reported.’”
What are you guilty of?
“I love junk food and fast food. In my pulmonary fellowship my friends called me the ‘Drive-thru gourmet.’”
What is your favorite material possession?
“My MacBook Pro. It still boots up fast, never crashes and looks like an artist made it”
What are you reading currently?
“I’m preparing a lecture on COPD, so I’m reading a lot of medical journals right now. Also reading a lot of ‘Skippyjohn Jones’ books with my son.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“I was bitten on the hand while feeding stingrays at Sea World and proclaimed multiple expletives in front of several small children before regaining my composure.”
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
“1. Get a tattoo. 2. Go to Vegas with my Maryville friends. (Note that 1 and 2 could occur simultaneously.) 3. Meet Robert Smith, lead singer of The Cure.”
What is one word others often use to describe you?
“Some call me Jimmy Shimmy. It’s my nickname when I come out of my shell.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I’m an introvert. I tend to be pretty shy around people I don’t really know, although with the right combination of circumstances I have been known to come out of my shell.”
What is your passion?
“My wonderful family. Also, I’m really into zombie movies.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“My father’s health is failing, but I love hearing about his adventures when he was a young surgeon. I would love to be in a time capsule and have lunch with my father when he was my age.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“If your gut tells you that you need to talk something over with someone, sleep on it first, and then do it.”
Other than your parents, who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
“My wife, Laura. I could never have found a more supportive, loving spouse and friend. She makes me want to be a better person.”
Do you Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?
“Facebook only, and not on a regular basis. It might take me three months to accept a friend request. Luckily my wife picks up my Facebook slack. Sometimes my best way to get her attention is to post on her wall.”
What’s the worst job you have ever had?
“I worked at an oil refinery one summer during college. This finalized my decision to leave engineering and pursue medicine.”
What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon and why?
“Scooby Doo. I have always been a fan of ghost stories, haunted houses and groovy music.”
What irritates you?
“Shift work mentality in a job that doesn’t end until the work is done.”
What’s one place in Blount County everyone should visit?
“Becky’s for a burger. There is no substitute.”
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at 18?
“You don’t realize at age 18 that your priorities in life will gradually change. You make career choices when you are young based on the goals and desires of an 18-24 old, but when you have children, your priorities change.
What is your greatest fear?
“I am superstitious and cannot answer for fear that it will come true.”
I still can’t quite get the hang of...
“Things that require a lot of coordination.”
If you could do one impulsive thing, what would it be?
“Buy a Harley, although I suspect -- due to lack of coordination -- I might only get to ride it one time.”