This British doctor's 100% serious, completely scientific, not tongue-in-cheek-at-all analysis of "Peppa Pig's" Dr. Brown Bear is hilarious and completely relatable for anyone who has (or has even been near) small children, who don't annoy their parents at all when they watch the same episode about George's woolly hat six times in a row.
"Peppa Pig" is a British children's program about a small, anthropomorphic pig named Peppa, her family, and the community she lives in, including one Dr. Brown Bear. Who is a bear. Obviously.
In the 100%-real, scientific paper, titled "Does Peppa Pig encourage inappropriate use of primary care resources?" and published in the prestigious British Medical Journal, Dr. Catherine Bell highlights tough issues like:
- Is it appropriate for a medically-trained bear professional to make so many house calls?
- Should small singing pigs be allowed into surgery?
- And how is Dr. Bear's mental health holding up?
Meanwhile, peppered (must resist puns...) throughout are wonderful little flourishes, like:
"Peppa Pig conveys many positive public health messages... However, from (repeated, mostly involuntary) review of the subject..."
"Conflicts of interest: None declared. It may look like my child is sponsored by 'Peppa Pig,' but any claims to this effect are false."
The paper's only about two pages long and is a very easy read, even for a nonscientific person.
As to how it got published, the paper is part of the British Medical Journal's annual Christmas issue. While each paper and article must still be held to scientific standards, the journal embraces the holiday spirit once a year and opens itself up to more, let's call them "original" topics, like how nice hospital gardens are or whether the BONG-BONG-BONG of London's Big Ben is interrupting a good night's rest.
Bell's paper is a delightful, cheeky, and affectionate dig at children's programming that anyone who's ever been near a television or a toddler can relate to and enjoy.
And, if nothing else, it's a reminder that maybe someone should check in on poor Dr. Brown Bear.