SACRAMENTO, CA – The Medical Board of California suspended the license of Dottie “Doc” McStuffins after allegations arose that she conducted an inappropriate relationship with a patient. McStuffins’ embattled backyard playhouse clinic has faced a series of setbacks, including low patient satisfaction scores, Joint Commission noncompliance, and physician burnout.
The allegations involve Lambie, a stuffed lamb with white wool and a pink bow and tutu. The toy lamb lives in Doc McStuffins’ bedroom, has been known to spend the night in bed with McStuffins, and cuddles with her on a frequent basis. Lambie has also assisted McStuffins with clinic operations, creating an employer-employee relationship per the Medical Board complaint.
The most damning evidence can be found in the episode “My Huggy Valentine,” in which McStuffins performed a physical examination upon Lambie and diagnosed her with “split-heart-itis,” thus establishing a doctor-patient relationship. Afterwards, she cuddled with the patient/employee. As documented by subsequent episodes, McStuffins spent several nights in bed with the patient/employee and allowed the patient/employee to reside in her bedroom.
Kimberly Hessinger spoke on behalf of the Medical Board. “The Board considers any type of personal relationship between the doctor and the patient to be a very serious breach of public trust and investigates these complaints,” she explained, citing sections 726 and 729 of the California Business and Professions Code. The Board found the actions doubly egregious because of the employee relationship, compounding the severity of the sexual harassment. “Doc McStuffins behaved inappropriately with blatant disregard for proper boundaries,” Hessinger added.
Beyond suspension of licensure, the Board applied additional enforcement actions: Lambie was taken away by McStuffins’ parents, and McStuffins was stripped of her magical stethoscope that allows her to talk to her toys. The practitioner will also write a 1000-word essay on professional boundaries. The Board did permit the seven-year-old McStuffins to receive parental help with typing and word-processing. GomerBlog tried to reach Doc McStuffins for comment, but at the time she was crying inconsolably in her backyard playhouse.