For the last thirteen years, an Emmy-winning program greatly contributed to daytime TV.
“The Doctors” was created by Phil McGraw as a spin-off to the uber-popular “Dr. Phil” talk show.
In “Dr. Phil,” the point of focus was mental health issues, while The Doctors highlighted medical issues on a more advanced level.
“Dr. Phil” McGraw always faced accusations of falsely using the doctor title, although he wasn’t qualified for it. McGraw apparently learned from it and created a panel of five highly qualified, actual doctors to discuss medical topics.
Conversation on The Doctors tackled health issues in an informative yet entertaining way. In the first season, the panelists were Travis Stork (E.R physician and The Bachelor alum), Jim Sears (pediatrician), Lisa Masterson (Gynecologist/Obstetrician), and Andrew Ordon (Plastic Surgeon).
In 2011, Jillian Michaels also joined the cast, though she mainly handled content that was shot outside of the studio.
One of the most popular segments of the show was audience questions. The doctors used to answer audience queries which people were usually too embarrassed to ask their own doctors.
All that made for a shared and, at the same time, educating viewing experience.
2020: The Year Of Big Changes
In 2020, CBS’s The Doctors went through a mega format change. In its earlier seasons, the show was hosted by a panel of medical professionals, but in its 13th season, only one host remained.
That one host was Dr. Ian Smith. During Obama’s two terms, Dr. Ian was a member of the President’s Council on Sports Nutrition and Fitness.
Though he was handling it well, the audience was not reciprocating his enthusiasm. Fans had grown accustomed to the fun banter of doctors from different backgrounds. It was a hard adjustment for the viewers. The channel acknowledged their complaints and gave them a valid explanation.
The producers of The Doctors revealed that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the long-running series had to adapt a different format. The cast and crew did everything by following rules set by WHO and their government.
The channel was especially keen on bringing the show back at this unprecedented time. The world was facing a medical emergency, and producers felt they had a responsibility to educate their audience.
The plethora of fake news was alarming in the initial days of the virus, and CBS’s show had the credibility for viewers to trust their information.
The executive producer Jay McGraw released a statement to clear people’s confusion:
“Trustworthy and straightforward medical news has never been more important. The Doctors recognizes the opportunity to support our viewers and deliver the content they’re looking for and deserve to get.”
New Host Of Season 13
When the 13th season premiered, Dr. Ian did his best to bring more valid information to the fans.
It was a daunting task; he had to compensate for a set of doctors, that were highly sought-after in their special fields.
Dr. Ian was replacing Dr. Travis Stork, Dr. Sonia Batra (dermatologist), Dr. Nita Landry (OB/GYN ), and Dr. Judy Ho (psychologist).
Luckily Dr. Ian did it, and the ratings of his season didn’t plummet to the ground. He kept the show’s oath of being an honest voice that would give viewers unbiased opinions without any underlying political slant.
After leaving The Doctors, the panel experts already started working on new projects. Dr. Sonia went to Hallmark Channel’s Home and Family, and Dr. Judy started her own podcast titled “Supercharged Life.”
Fans were happy to hear that all the panelists left the show on good terms, and they all posted about being excited to see its new format.
Dr. Travis also wrote a long Instagram post to announce the 12th season as his last and to share fond memories of his time on the show.
In the Insta note, he mentioned that medicine was a personal passion of his and the fans will hear from him soon. He and his wife Parris also had just welcomed their first child, so he was looking forward to spending time with his family.
The Controversy Surrounding Season 14
In July 2021, Dr. Ian Smith shocked the world when he accused the show’s producer Ciano of racism and harassment.
Dr. Smith filed an unlawful termination complaint against the production company Stage 29, CBS, Jay McGraw, and the executive producer Patty Ciano.
In Ian’s lawsuit, one person was particularly charged with lewd behavior and it was Ciano. In his allegation against Ciano, Dr. Smith wrote about his first interaction with him.
Dr. Ian was the co-host of the sixth season of the show, which aired in 2013. After enduring Ciano’s inappropriate behavior throughout the season, he decided to complain which resulted in him not being invited to host the seventh season.
Dr. Ian’s other concern on the show was its treatment of African-American people.
He gave the example of the salaries of African-American hosts who were doing the same job, but white hosts were getting higher pay regardless.
He even reported on regular racist remarks that he had heard on Zoom, but Ciano dismissed it by calling them “harmless rants about their bosses.”
When Dr. Smith was hired to host the 13th season, he noticed the lack of African-American producers.
The country was facing racial tension because of George Floyd’s murder, and the channel asking him to host again seemed like a strategic move by the network to go with the times.
After getting the job, he tried convincing Patricia Ciano to hire more African-American producers but was told excuses about the low budget, and so the discussion was tabled.
Dr. Ian initially believed the producer. Only two weeks later, however, Ciano hired more white producers.
The doctor’s harassment claims were also not given any importance.
In his complaint, he has alleged that Ciano had sexually harassed him by regularly commenting on his physique and suggesting to wear tighter clothes.
Ian tried to work with CBS directly by filing an anonymous complaint, but they replied that no wrongdoing had been found after conducting an investigation.
This turned out to be a careless lapse on the channel’s part because earlier in 2021, one of the previous hosts also made the same claims.
Dr. Rachael Ross allegedly faced the same treatment from Ciano who harassed her about her hair.
Dr. Rachael went to HR with her complaint, and she even threatened to tell people about how toxic their workplace was.
Instead of taking her complaints seriously, the producers decided not to renew her contract and fired her after the season was wrapped.