On Friday, February 1, in celebration of Black History Month, Disney Junior T.V. will begin a special airing of its wildly popular series “Doc McStuffins,” featuring Dr. Karen Aletha Maybank, assistant commissioner at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and director of the Brooklyn District Public Health Office in Bed-Stuy.
Since its March 2012 premier, "Doc McStuffins" has garnered worldwide attention for its portrayal of a young African-American girl, nicknamed “Doc,” who aspires to be a doctor like her mom and runs a clinic for her stuffed animals and toys out of her backyard playhouse.
For the Black History Month series, Disney will begin running “We Are Doc McStuffins” interstitials-- short television segments shown between its regularly scheduled programs—featuring Maybank, along with two other real-life female African-American physicians, Dr. Myiesha Taylor, an emergency doctor based in Dallas and Dr. Naeemah Ghafur, a family doctor in Los Angeles.
Seeing a reflection of themselves in the Doc character, the three women physicians started the “We Are Doc McStuffins” Movement to inspire more young girls into the medical profession.
They also went on to form the Artemis Medical Society, an organization of over 2,500 African-American women physicians and medical students from around the world.
"Many children of color never see a physician of color in person throughout their entire life. So seeing people that look like you in a particular profession can play an important role in allowing that child to feel like he or she can be that too," Dr. Maybank told Bed-Stuy Patch.
"Disney has a tremendous platform to reach many children. For this reason, I was extremely happy and excited for this opportunity during Black History Month to expose so many young people to one of the many faces of medicine they typically may not see."
Created and executive-produced by Emmy Award-winning writer Chris Nee ("Little Bill"), "Doc McStuffins" ranked as 2012's #1 cable TV series in Kids 2-5 and the #1 preschool cable TV series in Total Viewers and Women 18-49.
“We Are Doc McStuffins” interstitials will begin airing on Disney Junior Friday, February 1, 10:25 a.m., and 4:25 p.m. (EST).
Additional interstitials featuring the three doctors will begin rolling out in the spring and will air regularly on both platforms.