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Disney’s ‘Doc McStuffins’ Honors Dr. Myiesha Taylor

It’s not often that you come across a female doctor of color on television.

So the Disney Channel’s cartoon series, Doc McStuffins, is a real treat.  Who wouldn’t want to see a 6-year old, who just happens to be an African-American girl, work toward her early aspirations of becoming a physician?

But imagine being a real-life Black female physician and being highlighted by the show.  That is exactly what is happening for one of JETmag.com’s favorite medical experts.

The creator/producer of the hit series, Chris Nee, is using Texas Regional Medical Center ER physician, Dr. Myiesha Taylor’s first name as the name of the main character’s mother, an honor that left Dr. Taylor speechless.

For Dr. Taylor it is a testament of the full-circle achievement that her own mother, a licensed nurse, made by encouraging her at a very young age to hold fast to her dreams.

It will be a great day in the Taylor household as family gathers, including Dr. Taylor’s own three children to watch the highly-anticipated episode on Jan 10th.

JET: How did you feel when you discovered the shows producer, Chris Nee made the decision to name the Doc Mcstuffins mother after you?

Myiesha Taylor: Words fail you! I was absolutely honored and surprised. This represents more than just me. It’s so important that television provides alternative depictions of Black women as opposed to what is common. You simply don’t see enough women represented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields on screen.

JET: I understand that Doc McStuffins was the actual inspiration for the Artemis Medical Society (AMS), a supportive non-for-profit that you established for women of color who have made their medicine aspirations real. How did this come about?

MT: One day, I saw that my daughter enjoying the show. From there, I reached out to all my connects on Facebook and asked, “Have you seen Doc McStuffins?” I was so pleased to discover the show that I had to find out if any of my fellow female physicians of color also knew of it. I wanted to garner as much support for the show as I could. This led me to create a huge thank-you, a collage of us physicians to Disney for creating the show.  From there,  that spawned a movement. And now, AMS is at 3,500 members and we are gearing up to hold our 1st national conference this year in Dallas.

JET: With so much emphasis on youth enrichment, does AMS offer opportunities for young ladies of color who share that Doc McStuffins dream of a future in medicine?

MT: We are definitely committed to the power of mentoring. I am an alumna of Xavier University and as a proud HBCU graduate, it is imperative that I reach back to young women on this path. We are developing more programs as we grow.

JET: Coming from a family that has a tradition of working in medicine, did your formative years parallel that of Doc McStuffins?

MT: My mother was a registered nurse and my grandmother was a licensed vocational nurse. My family made science, math, and the notion of working in medicine fun! This is how they inspired me – encouraged me! I looked at medicine as something that was attainable because I was always given opportunities in the home to engage in science. My mother would bring medical journals, pamphlets and such home from work. She’d share them with us. So, yeah, to answer your question, I do have a little bit in common with Doc McStuffins. {Laughing}

JET: So on January 10 what will it be like in the Taylor household when the Doc McStuffins show is airing?

MT: The video recorder will be set! We will definitely round-up in the living room and tune in. My family is really excited about it, especially my three children.

JET: Have any of your children expressed interest in a career in medicine?

MT: Well, yes, actually my son has expressed that he’s interested in veterinary science and my two daughters are interested in being physicians. Like my mother did with me, I earnestly focus on my children’s interests. It’s so important that we pay attention to what are kids are excited about pursuing. Kids want approval from their parents. In essence, this is what Doc McStuffins is all about. Ensuring that our children are encouraged, during their formative years. If I can, or Doc McStuffins can, you can also.

Doc McStuffins airs on Disney Junior and Disney Channel during weekdays at 10:00 am EST/9 a.m. CST