Archive | February, 2013

My New Love Affair – Disney’s “Doc McStuffins”

18 Feb

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Not long ago, Disney released a new medical show geared toward pre-schoolers by the name of Doc McStuffins. While I may be late in my discovery, I can’t tell you all how much I absolutely LOVE this show .. and I am not alone. Recently, the New York Times published an op-ed piece highlighting the many facets of Doc McStuffins and discussed the  growing support for the show. On a personal note, I absolutely love the fact that Disney has decided to go against “tradition” and create a main character, a doctor, which can embody so much power in our society, as a young girl of color. In response to watching the show for the 1st time, having an 8 year old child within the article exclaim, “wow mommy … she’s brown!”  should at least indicate that positive characters such as these are not as common in a post-racial / Obama era as we would think and are still sorely needed. On a related note, 131 African-American physicians world-wide submitted their photos this past Spring in the creation of the “We Are Doc McStuffins” photo collage with the caption: “We are trailblazers.  We are women of color. We are physicians. We ARE role-models.  We are Doc McStuffins all grown up!” … Simply wonderful.

Racial identification within the media aside, I also love the fact that Doc McStuffins introduces children of all backgrounds to the idea of imagination and more importantly, medical play. Child Life Specialists such as myself often utilize medical play with stuffed animals (commonly known as “playing doctor”) with pre-school / early school aged children when discussing medical treatment. Medical play allows children the freedom to explore, ask questions, and practice (ultimately mastering) many of the routine medical treatments they experience. Through Doc McStuffins, children not only have a fun, engaging way to learn and talk about doctor visits, but they also have a chance to self-identify with a smart positive character which reflects the growing diversification of America.