Tag Archives: The Doctors

Dr. Lisa Masterson Memoir Getting Hollywood Attention

Dr. Lisa Masterson

 Don’t be surprised if Dr. Lisa Masterson’s compelling “Paper Dollhouse: A Memoir” finds its way to the cameras.  According to the beautiful “The Doctors” Ob/Gyn, although “nothing has panned out right yet,” her well-received book of this year is getting Hollywood interest.   

Dr. Lisa’s late mother, who pushed and finagled, fudged and faked to get her daughter into the finest schools despite their grinding poverty, would clearly be a plum role.  Who would she like to see get it? “I just know that when Angela Bassett read it at one of my fundraisers, she was phenomenal,” says the popular TV doc, whose work to advance pre-natal care in developing countries has led her to speak at the United Nations.

The mother of a college student son herself, Dr. Lisa adds that the memoir “is actually very timely with these public colleges going into tumult about the cost of education now.  That’s another question our country has to deal with — education as well as healthcare need to be ramped out and rethought.” 

MEANWHILE:  Coming up on “The Doctors” are segments following some of her patients — “a ‘Dr. Lisa’s Office’ kind of thing,” as she describes it.  She has a busy private practice and an oceanfront spa in Santa Monica, CA.   “People ask if ‘The Doctors’ doctors still practice.  It’s crucially important that we do,” she says.  “Things change with the times — treatments change, and also, what people are doing is different.  We have to talk to them on a regular basis,”

One recent “The Doctors” segment touched on the disturbing vodka-soaked tampon fad among teenage girls seeking a buzz — a fad that has real health dangers associated with it, Dr. Lisa warns.  She tells us that one of the unfortunate things she’s learned is “that so many parents are just in the dark about what their kids are doing.  These young people have more access to the world now and people with new ideas.  We talk about how to talk to kids about this, monitor their internet to keep them safe.  The drug problem with kids now is really huge.  People really underestimate it.”

THE VIDEOLAND VIEW:  TNT launches its new Mystery Movie Night tonight (11/29) with Scott Turow’s “Innocent” — the first of the cable network’s weekly adaptations of high-profile novels.  The project itself, as well as its TV movie anthology umbrella, have had critics talking about a new age of quality made-for-television films. 

Bill Pullman TNT photo James Dittiger

“Innocent” is following in some big footsteps, but costar Richard Schiff is quick to stress that it holds its own.  “This is the sequel to ‘Presumed Innocent,’ and we have Bill Pullman in the role Harrison Ford played in the first movie, and Alfred Molina in the character Raul Julia played.  I got to play with these two guys in addition to the lovely Marcia Gay Harden,” he says.   

“It is a TV movie and we worked very fast — we worked at lightning speed — but I love working fast.  When it’s on point and on the tracks, there’s no better feeling.” 

Schiff points out that “Innocent” was directed by Turow veteran Mike Robe.  “I fell for this guy.  He’s adapted something like 11 other Scott Turow projects.  We have a very solid courtroom kind of thriller that’s really, really well done — with some large talent.  Hopefully, people will include me in that description.”  Turow evidently did.  Says Schiff, “He sent me a very nice, complimentary email that said he was seeing things in my character that he hadn’t thought of.” 

THEY’RE GETTING WARMER:  ‘Tis the season for stars to find stylish ways to keep warm, like KD’s new twist on the classic leg warmers, and now, arm warmers.  NYC sources say Katie Holmes is among the chic set who’ve been finding goodies at KD’s Soho store, along with a very well-known fashion editor who cleared shelves of the warmers there.

Telling Bad Along With Good in Memoir Not Easy for Dr. Lisa

Dr. Lisa Masterson

Dr. Lisa Masterson of “The Doctors” says she thought long and hard before deciding to include the most bitter aspects of her bittersweet childhood in her new “Paper Dollhouse” memoir.  She paints a vivid picture of her late mother as relentless, beguiling and daring, finding ways to see to it that — despite being a single mother with little money — Lisa could get into top private schools, mingle with the elite and achieve her dreams.  But she also shows that among other things, her mother, on occasion, had her strip and then beat her until she bled.

“I really wanted to portray her as a hero,” says the USC-trained OB/GYN, who is on staff at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.  “Heroes are human beings.  They have all the shortcomings and humanity that everyone else does.  You can still be a good person and an amazing person and not be perfect.  You can go down the wrong road.”  Of those awful episodes of being hit with a belt, she says, “She never meant it maliciously; it was a vent.”

Dr. Lisa is also unsparing of herself in parts of the book.  Feeling threatened by an also-smart Asian girl during her school days, she became downright malicious toward her — something she still feels badly about.  “It’s the same thing.  If I’m going to tell the whole story about my mother, I’m going to share this about me,” she says.

Her hope is that fans see her story in a wider sense, as a story of a black woman and her daughter determined to achieve the American dream — using every bit of wits, wherewithal and wiles they possessed to make it happen.

Which it certainly did.  Dr. Lisa’s long list of accomplishments includes not only television fame and a thriving private practice, but speaking before the UN on issues of women’s health in developing nations, founding the first OB/GYN residency program in sub-Saharan Africa, and starting birthing clinics in Kenya and India.

“You see a woman with a lot of education sitting in front of you, one who fought very much against racism and sexism.  It has not been an easy road here,” she says.  “I have scrambled for what I’ve achieved.  But I’m also showing that I got started in medicine as a candy striper because I didn’t want to babysit my baby brother.”

‘Dr. Lisa’ Moonlights With the U.N. to Save Mothers and Babies

Dr. Lisa in Africa, "The Doctors" photo

Imagine, doctors in developing countries being trained in online classes rather than going to med schools in foreign countries — and, statistics show, often remaining abroad instead of returnnig to impoverished homelands.  In fact, such use of technology is moving into reality now, according to “The Doctors”  Dr. Lisa M. Masterson.   And she ought to know, because her Maternal Fetal Care International (MFCI) organization is making it happen.

Dr. Masterson founded the firstOB/GYN residency program in sub-Saharan Africa, in Eritrea, in addition to starting birthing clinics in Kenya and India. “Instead of spending the $6,000 it would cost to fly me there, I’m going to teach classes by Skype and then donate that money toward equipment,” she explains.

Dr. Lisa M. Masterson

The remarkable medico can move with seeming ease from seeing patients in her private practice in Santa Monica, to her work as a staff physician (at L.A.’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica and UCLA), to chatting with celebrity moms on TV about potty training toddlers on “The Doctors” — to addressing the United Nations. In fact, a segment on her recent speech before the U.N. is being included on Tuesday’s (11/2) edition of “The Doctors.”

“I literally think my whole body was on edge,” before her address, admits the attractive Masterson. “My mission was just to try to open people’s eyes as much as possible. The response was overwhelming — so many people were asking me about my charity and what I do, and how to work together.”

Masterson’s efforts toward decreasing maternal and infant mortality
rates fit perfectly into the U.N.’s millennial goals, which is why she’s already
working with the international organization. Sometimes, she says, “The answer is in the palm of our hand, and it quite literally is. Technology has made equipment like the ultrasound that’s the size of a cell phone. There are fetal monitors that women can take with them, that allow doctors to monitor women from hospitals or offices.  Well, how come we can’t monitor a woman from Africa, then?  We’re testing it out here.”

Dr. Lisa, as she’s known to “The Doctors” fans, has an autobiography coming out next year, and it’s bound to be gripping.  “Sometimes it’s difficult to go back over painful times, but going through them that’s how I got to where I am.  Because I’m doing so much of what I want to do, some people have the idea I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth or something like that, but I wasn’t,” she says.   She admits it wasn’t easy to open up, that it’s not her personality.  However, she adds, “I had a lot of great female role models in my life.  On the show, I’m the only woman.   If telling my story can inspire a lot of girls to know that they can achieve their goals, it will be well worth it.”

‘Doctors’ Doctor Practices What He Preaches

Dr. Travis Stork, "The Doctors"

‘The Doctors’ handsome Dr. Travis Stork tells us he’s taking a mountain biking tour this summer ‘and I cannot wait.’ He’s an avid cyclist, who often pedals to work at the studio in Hollywood and at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville. ‘When it comes to healthy living, the way I live my life, I practice what I preach. I wouldn’t ask anyone to do anything I wouldn’t do myself,’ he says.

Taking time away from his duties at Vanderbilt, his syndicated show and his ongoing promotion of the healthy lifestyle isn’t something the 38-year-old former ‘The Bachelor’ star does often. He makes it clear, however, he’s just fine with that. With is latest book, ‘The Doctor is In: a 7-Step Prescription for Optimal Wellness,’ advising readers as to how to be their own health guru, he says he finds public response more rewarding than he could have imagined. ‘More than anything, people will come up and say, ‘Thank you. I learned so much from your show.’ It’s just remarkable.’