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March 30th Is National Doctors’ Day! How the Creator of Disney’s Doc McStuffins Is Celebrating

This guest post is written by Chris Nee, founder of Doc McStuffins

March 30th is National Doctors’ Day, a time to show your appreciation for your favorite doctors. I hope everyone has at least one doctor with whom they share a long and trust-filled relationship — and takes the time to thank them.

Me, I have to thank about two thousand, five hundred and seven doctors. Am I medically maladjusted? Majorly ill? Or just accident-prone? None of the above.

I’m the creator of a show called Doc McStuffins that airs on Disney Junior. Doc is a six-year-old African American girl who runs a health clinic in her backyard for her stuffed animals and toys.

There were many ways I could imagine that creating a show might change my life, but none of them included being fundamentally challenged by the words of someone writing on a blog. The writer was Dr. Myiesha Taylor. In her blog she wrote:

“Disney’s Doc McStuffins provides us with a new opportunity to change our children’s focus away from sports and entertainment. Doc McStuffins will be viewed by millions of small children each day. The children who watch Doc McStuffins will start their lives believing that it is ‘ok’ that they dream to be a physician. They will have an alternative view of life that provides a real career path that is not based on dribbling a ball or singing a song. Parents will now have a tool to reinforce the importance of education and the real possibility of becoming a physician.”

Dr. Taylor’s words presented me with a challenge to deserve the support she’d written for our little animated character. She reminded me how powerful TV can be, and what it is like to see yourself represented accurately on it for the first time.

But her words went beyond inspiring the cast and crew of Doc McStuffins; they inspired physicians across the country: African American female physicians, who responded in force with their own feelings of invisibility. Dr. Taylor began to gather photographs of the doctors who were reaching out to her, and created the “We Are Doc McStuffins” movement with a poster of Doc McStuffins and her real-life counterparts in hopes of motivating young girls of color to go into the medical field.

Female African American physicians make up a mere 2 percent of doctors in America, and they were clearly looking for connections and support. The women of the “We Are Doc McStuffins” movement realized they needed to do more and created the Artemis Medical Society, the first national organization for female African American physicians. Soon its ranks were in the thousands. Two thousand, five hundred and seven to be exact.

Dr. Taylor has been quoted as saying that our show inspires her, but really it’s the other way around. Every day as we work to make Doc McStuffins, it’s Dr. Taylor and the women of the Artemis Medical Society who inspired us in every way.

So, I’ve got my work cut out for me this week. I have to thank each and every one of these amazing doctors. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Check out the slideshow below for images from the show as well as photos of the founding members of the “We Are Doc McStuffins” movement!

  • What the Show Is About 1 of 11
    DOC MCSTUFFINS

    "Doc McStuffins" is an imaginative animated series about a six-year-old girl who communicates with and heals stuffed animals and toys in her backyard clinic. Each episode features an original song and follows Doc and her stuffed animal friends Stuffy, Lambie, Hallie and Chilly as they care for and nurture a toy in need.

  • How It Teaches Caring and Sharing 2 of 11
    CHILLY, STUFF, DOC MCSTUFFINS, LAMBIE, HALLIE

    Under the consultancy of the Hollywood Health & Society division of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, the series highlights the importance of taking care of oneself and others, while showcasing the hallmarks of great Disney storytelling – fantasy and wish fulfillment.

  • How the Show Caters to Kids 3 of 11
    DOC MCSTUFFINS, STUFFY

    "Doc McStuffins" ranked as 2012's #1 cable TV series in Kids 2-5 and the #1 preschool cable TV series in Total Viewers and Women 18-49. The series airs daily during Disney Channel's Disney Junior programming block for kids age 2-7 and on the 24-hour channel, Disney Junior.

  • The Faces Behind the Movement 4 of 11
    DR. MYIESHA TAYLOR

    In February, Disney Junior debuted "We Are Doc McStuffins" interstitials featuring Artemis Medical Society founding members and creators of the "We Are Doc McStuffins" movement Dr. Myiesha Taylor (pictured here), Dr. Aletha Maybank and Dr. Naeemah Ghafur alongside Doc McStuffins, a young African-American girl who aspires to be a doctor like her mom. ©2013 DISNEY JUNIOR/RICK ROWELL

  • New Item 5 of 11
    DR. MYIESHA TAYLOR, AARON DHALIWAL

    DR. MYIESHA TAYLOR AND AARON DHALIWAL
    ©DISNEY JUNIOR/RICK ROWELL

  • New Item 6 of 11
    DR. ALETHA MAYBANK, NANCY KANTER (SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING AND GENERAL MANAGER, DISNEY JUNIOR WORLDWIDE), CHRIS NEE (CREATOR/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "DOC MCSTUFFINS"), DR. MYIESHA TAYLOR, DR. NAEEMAH GHAFUR

    Nancy Kanter, Senior Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide and Chris Nee, Creator/Executive Producer, "Doc McStuffins" welcomed Artemis Medical Society founding members and creators of the "We Are Doc McStuffins" movement to The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA on November 8, 2012. (DISNEY JUNIOR/RICK ROWELL) DR. ALETHA MAYBANK, NANCY KANTER (SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING AND GENERAL MANAGER, DISNEY JUNIOR WORLDWIDE), CHRIS NEE (CREATOR/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "DOC MCSTUFFINS"), DR. MYIESHA TAYLOR, DR. NAEEMAH GHAFUR ©DISNEY JUNIOR/RICK ROWELL

  • New Item 7 of 11
    DR. ALETHA MAYBANK, DR. NAEEMAH GHAFUR, DR. MYIESHA TAYLOR

    DR. ALETHA MAYBANK, DR. NAEEMAH GHAFUR, DR. MYIESHA TAYLOR

    ©2013 Disney Junior

  • New Item 8 of 11
    MARTIN CARLIN, MADISON HOLT, DR. NAEEMAH GHAFUR

    MARTIN CARLIN, MADISON HOLT, DR. NAEEMAH GHAFUR

    ©2013 DISNEY JUNIOR/RICK ROWELL

  • New Item 9 of 11
    DR. ALETHA MAYBANK, QUEEN MAJESTY RUFFIN

    DR. ALETHA MAYBANK, QUEEN MAJESTY RUFFIN

    ©2013 DISNEY JUNIOR/RICK ROWELL

  • New Item 10 of 11
    DR. ALETHA MAYBANK

    DR. ALETHA MAYBANK

    ©2013 DISNEY JUNIOR/RICK ROWELL

  • New Item 11 of 11
    DR. NAEEMAH GHAFUR

    DR. NAEEMAH GHAFUR

    ©2013 DISNEY JUNIOR/RICK ROWELL

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