Howard Univ. Med School Students Protest Bravo’s New Show

Med school students think Bravo's new reality show will show black female doctors in a negative light

Source: Bravo

A group of black female medical students at Howard University are urging Bravo to cancel  its new reality show “Married to Medicine,” which follows the lives of prominent black women doctors and doctors’ wives in the Atlanta area, before its March 24th premiere, Madame Noire reports.

Female students at the historically black medical school say the show will portray black women doctors as “catty” and “unprofessional,” and claim they are only trying to protect the sanctity of their profession. The students have started a petition on Part of it reads:

“Black female physicians only compose 1% of the American workforce of physicians. Due to our small numbers, the depiction of Black female doctors in media, on any scale, highly affects the public’s view on the character of all future and current African American female doctors. Bravo’s “Married to Medicine” not only exploits the 6 lives of its Black female cast members, but, through its advertisements and commercials, heavily associates Black females in medicine with materialism, “cat fights”, and unprofessionalism.

The medical students also say shows like “Married to Medicine” will make it difficult for black women to advance in the medical field:

“… residency positions are becoming increasingly more competitive (particularly for Black women) and contingent upon social behavior of graduating medical students, this depiction will only hinder black female physicians from attaining competitive residencies. Hence, for the sake of integrity and character of black female physicians, we must ask that Bravo immediately remove and cancel “Married to Medicine” from its channel, website, and any other media.”

The presumption seems to be that all reality shows portray an unrealistic amount of conflict and negativity, also known as “rachet.” Do you agree with their opinion?

  • joseph

    I totally agree with this move by those students. To this point have yet to see or even hear about it since i prefer mainly not to endulge in watching reality t.v. ever seen it.TRULY shed light on the professional, classy side of women especially black women. Lets dace reality here nobody was talking about the business opportunities these we had or took advantage of in shows prior to. What is remembered are the fights the drama etc. Im in total agreement again.

  • Iman

    I absolutely disagree. This is ridiculous. Black folks are always worried about putting our best foot forward in front of white folks. They’re human, they will do great things and not so great things. They represent themselves. Yes, there will be people that try to place them as the representative for the race but they’re ignorant. We can’t live our lives worrying about what other folks think of us. You’re only giving them power.

    • GG

      Why do you think that they are only worried about white folks? Perhaps they are concerned about how all races and potential patients will view them and their profession. I’m sure these concerned women must know that people of all races are guilty of letting the media form their opinions about many things. Your mentioning “white folks” in your comments shows that you are more concerned about what they think then the women that started the petition.

  • future

    If they are going to do a show about women physicians, why not show the challenges of balancing family and work, the complex world of medicine, and what most minority physicians overcame to reach their goal. This show is just another show depicting women as nothing but ill behaved drama queens fixated on fame and wealth. I completely agree with this petition. We should advocate for positive shows rather than perpetuating stereotypes.

  • mystic77

    I find the amount of bullying in the black community amazing. And it seems like a class issue, the upper middle class and elite class of blacks are now policing the blacks on reality tv. Although I don’t agree with the portrayal of some black women on reality tv, if I don’t like it, I don’t watch it. But those same groups of blacks who will fight to get certain shows off the air because they don’t like the way they are portrayed will not take on Major networks where white folks make racist comments, remarks or statements and black folks are made to look as ridiculous as they do on reality tv. They do not fight to get these shows off of the air but they do a pretty good job of picking on their own

    • MedStudent

      Change has to start somewhere. At least the students are trying to do something about the way black people are being portrayed instead of just talking about it or commenting in forums. Maybe you didn’t read the entire petition properly because this obviously isn’t a case of bullying. These medical students are petitioning against something that is important to them and that can affect them directly. And actually a lot of them grew up in lower class houses and inner cities. I know this for a fact. They’re not some group of “elite blacks” looking down others. They’re trying to make a difference because like I said, change has to start somewhere. You can talk about major networks and racism, but to get there and take that on, somebody or some people have to take initial steps to address how we’re being portrayed. It sounds like you would rather sit back and do nothing. As a matter of fact why don’t you start something and get the ball rolling on to change how black people look on major networks.

      • future

        I totally agree with MedStudent. You can’t just sit back and say “I don’t watch this. It doesn’t affect me.” Change starts somewhere; someone takes the initiative to make a difference. And this is not a matter of picking on each other. This is an issue of students who believe this show directly affects their progress in their careers. I’m sure they are much more aware of this than the general public which makes their case very valid.

      • Calm down grasshopper. You’re not even a doctor yet. The people who make residency decisions don’t even watch shows like this. Besides, the time you get to residency, trust me this show will have been cancelled…..HUCM Class 2008

    • Co-conspirator

      I would like to address this point by point. 1)The petition was not started to “bully” our fellow women; nowhere in the petition does it say “We would like to ban these women from ever being on television.” Look, we all act ridiculous sometimes; that’s human nature. The network could have used these same women but shown them in a more positive light. They chose not to do that. 2) If I we were all upper middle/elite class I doubt we would spend the better part of our youth getting into and going through medical school, and then residency. If we did, I’m sure we wouldn’t put ourselves in a quarter of a million dollars worth of debt to pursue a career that for the most part is not going to make us wealthy by any means. (I just pray to one day break even.) 3)We are not policing Black people on television. We are asking the network to police itself! 4)I am tired of these shows with zero originality that only succeed by making us look bad. I also do not watch these programs, but simply not watching them is like closing your eyes and pretending they don’t exist. Guess what: they’re still around. Hence, the petition. 5)Again, the petition IS an attempt to ‘take on a major network’ and get shows off the air where Black women are made to look ridiculous. I’m not sure what else you mean by this statement. I can’t guarantee that I will be back immediately to respond to further comment [I’m still a student and I do spend 10+ hours a day studying :(], but I urge all to take a careful look at the petition. We are only trying to take control of our image, because we all can see what happens when we allow someone else to do it.

  • Doktor

    This show is portraying a completely different image. I’m a doctor and life as a doctor or doctor’s wife is not that glamorous. Maybe only in Atlanta. This is foolery at its best once again courtesy of BRAVO. How about a show that depicts balancing life as a doctor or spouse of a doctor, and not just limited to black women with one token white lady (the KIm Zolciak)

  • Stephen Graves

    If the Howard Med students want to protest something they should protest the University for the horrible service that Howard students get. It’s embarassing and offensive how incompetent the administration and staff is and how long students and staff have to wait to get seen for routine things. Shame on them! Same with the Dental school. If they are so worried about the perception of Blacks they should take a long look in the mirror and how rude and ridiculous the treatment of Black students who attend Howard get treated and the horrible care they receive. Then maybe we could get somewhere…

    • ProudHU

      The condition of the Howard University Dental/ Medical school is minute to the situation at hand. At the end of the day HU produces some of the best medical personnel out there. The disgrace that this show is about to bring to Black Women in the Medical field is embarrassing, and affects more than just the graduating students of HU. And if you would like to make a change to situation at Howard that bothers you so much why don’t you go ahead and make a monetary contribution to rectify the situation, I’m sure it will be greatly appreciated.

    • BisonAlum

      Speak for yourself. I have experienced both a large, prestigious state university and a mid sized state university. Nothing compares to my experience at HU.

    • GG

      When did Howard change? I attended in the 80’s and found it to be a very positive experience. So sorry that your experience is not.

  • I hope this does not go forward

  • kay

    That all reality shows portray an unrealistic amount of conflict and negativity is not a presumption. That is exactly what they do. Otherwise, no one would watch. Who would watch a program that shows people going to bed, getting up, going to work, coming home, eating dinner and going to bed again. On a day to day basis, that’s all most people’s lives consist of. And anything in between is not worth watching. Reality shows do not portray reality. They are produced, scripted and directed the same as any other tv show. There is nothing in the life of a female physician that is worth making a show of, unless it has some hair pulling, name calling and ass kickery going on. And the producers of this stupid show will make sure to toss plenty of all that in the script. Sign the damn petition.

  • CSS

    …don’t they have better things to do than protest tv shows? how about they protest TV in general?

    (sincerely; Concerned Sh*t Starter…)

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