Myiesha Taylor, MD, knows how rare it is to see a black female physician on television. As a black female emergency physician herself, she is frequently the only woman or person of color in her group. That’s why she was so excited to discover the Disney program Doc McStuffins when browsing shows for her 4-year-old daughter. Dottie, the show’s 6-year-old title character, emulates her physician mother by providing medical care to her toys. In fact, the show inspired Dr. Taylor to collect photographs of black female physicians into a collage titled “We Are Doc McStuffins”—an effort that eventually drew the attention of Disney executives.
Dr. Taylor, an emergency physician with Texas Health Resources and EmCare in Texas, recently sat down with ACEP Now’s Medical Editor in Chief Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD, FACEP, to discuss her relationship to Doc McStuffins and what she’s doing to raise the profile of women of color in medicine. Here are some highlights from their conversation.
KK: Tell us about this great show. I’m going to act like I don’t know about Doc McStuffins. I know nothing about it because I will never admit that I know it’s on the Disney Channel.
MT: It’s this doctor show on Disney, and the little main character is a brown girl aspiring to be a doctor. I’m like, “Wow, that’s kind of cool!” You have this brown kid on TV, and she’s not singing or dancing or playing a sport. She’s actually this intellectual person that’s trying to do exactly what I am. This show—in addition to demystifying the whole physician visit and providing information to children about what it’s like to go to the doctor and little tidbits about health information like dehydration, getting enough sleep, or nutrition—allowed this generation to see that it’s not weird to have a brown girl as a doctor. I don’t have to be the nurse. I don’t have to be the chef or the janitor. I can be the physician. I can be the team leader. Now, it’s like I’m present. I’m there, and the kids start singing the song, which validates the whole thing. So I reached out to Disney because I appreciated the image. People underestimate the power of an image. I decided with some of my friends on Facebook that we would take pictures or I would snap pictures off their Facebook page, put them on a collage, send it to Disney, and tweet it out.