Daily Archives: July 31, 2012

Multicultural/pop culture note: ‘Doc McStuffins’ wins praise for its little STEM-focused role model

Collage of female African American physicians

Collage of female African American physicians and future doctor ‘Doc McStuffins’ from the parenting blog Coily Embrace.

If the class of 2028 includes a higher number of African American women interested in med school, don’t be surprised.  The reason might be a new Disney cartoon that is generating considerable praise. The New York Times reports today:

“Aimed at preschoolers, ‘Doc McStuffins’ centers on its title character, a 6-year-old African-American girl. Her mother is a doctor (Dad stays home and tends the garden), and the girl emulates her by opening a clinic for dolls and stuffed animals. …

“The series, which made its debut in March on the Disney Channel and a new cable network called Disney Junior, is a ratings hit, attracting an average of 918,000 children age 2 to 5, according to Nielsen data. But ‘Doc McStuffins’ also seems to have struck a cultural nerve, generating loud applause on parent blogs, Facebook and even in academia for its positive vocational message for African-American girls.”

One of the parenting bloggers who is enthusiastic about the show created the image above: “What started out as a simple collage of a few African American women physicians expressing thanks to Disney and Brown Bag Films has now taken on a life of its own.  When we first started the collage we never thought we would get anywhere close to the current number of physicians who have agreed to lend their image to this project.” That number is 131.  Add that little cartoon character, and you have a nicely composed collection of 132 positive, STEM-focused role models for African American youngsters who’ll be graduating from college in 16 years or so.