Black doctors see hope in TV's 'Doc McStuffins'
This June 7, 2012 photo shows Dr. Myiesha Taylor, right, holding a collage of fellow doctors supporting Disney Junior's animated series "Doc McStuffins" as her three children from left, Ian Taylor Schlitz, 6, Haley Taylor Schlitz, 9, and Hana Taylor Schlitz point at their mother's photo at their home in Keller, Texas. For black women whose own wish to practice medicine come true, the show is welcome affirmation. The doctors shown in the collage are graduates of schools including Harvard, Yale and Stanford and work in a range of specialities such as neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery and psychiatry. Taylor is a board-certified emergency room physician. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A pig-tailed girl whose favorite accessory is a pink stethoscope has become a symbol of pride and hope for black women in medicine and the daughters they want to inspire.
Doc McStuffins, the African-American title character of an animated TV series for children, dreams of becoming an M.D. and, for now, runs a cheerful home clinic for stuffed animals and dolls.
"I haven't lost a toy yet!" Doc exclaims as she hugs a blue dinosaur in need of attention.
For Dr. Myiesha Taylor, who watches Disney Channel's "Doc McStuffins" with her 4-year-old, Hana, the show sends a much-needed message to minority girls about how big their ambitions can be.
"It's so nice to see this child of color in a starring role, not just in the supporting cast. It's all about her," Taylor said. "And she's an aspiring intellectual professional, not a singer or dancer or athlete."
So Taylor sent a message back, creating an online collage featuring an image of the buoyant Doc encircled by photos of 131 black women who are Doc's real life-counterparts, most garbed in their scrubs or doctor's coats.
"We are trailblazers," Taylor proclaimed on her website. "We are women of color. We are physicians. We ARE role-models. We are Doc McStuffins all grown up!"
For black women whose own wish to practice medicine came true, the show is welcome affirmation. The doctors shown in the collage are graduates of schools including Harvard, Yale and Stanford and work in a range of specialties such as neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery and psychiatry. Taylor is a board-certified emergency room physician.
FILE - This undated file image originally released by Disney Junior shows the character Doc McStuffins with Stuff in a scene from Disney Junior's animated series "Doc McStuffins." The show is about a six-year-old girl who runs and operates a clinic for broken toys and worn out stuffed animals out of the playhouse in her backyard. (AP Photo/Disney Junior, file)
According to the American Medical Association's "Physician Characteristics and Distribution in the U.S., 2012 Edition," there were 18,533 black female physicians in 2010, or less than 2 percent of a total of 985,375 U.S. doctors, including nearly 300,000 female physicians. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, blacks make up 12.3 percent of the population at about 40 million, with more than half of them women.