Visit the “Doc Tom Awards” page, honoring people whose work furthers what Tom stood for.
“Doc Tom” Ferguson (Wikipedia) envisioned health care as an equal partnership between e-patients and health professionals and systems that support them. It is his spirit and his work that led to the creation of this Society in 2009.
A 1978 graduate of Yale Medical School, he founded Medical Self-Care magazine, was the medical editor of the Millennium Whole Earth Catalog, wrote the visionary 1996 book Health Online: How To Find Health Information, Support Groups, And Self Help Communities In Cyberspace, and authored several papers in The BMJ, as early as 2000.
A true visionary, less than a year after the Mozilla browser arrived he published the now-famous “triangle slides” that showed how “information age healthcare” would turn “industrial age medicine” on its head.
Before Tom’s untimely death in 2006 (see the obituaries in the NY Times and MedScape), he was writing his manifesto, now known as the e-Patient White Paper (English) (Spanish), in consultation with the group of advisers he dubbed the e-Patient Scholars Working Group. They finished the paper and published it a year later, and in 2009 formed our Society for Participatory Medicine.
You can join us, as an individual or corporate sponsor, in fulfilling Tom’s vision and furthering his work.
Our blog posts about Tom’s early years
- Medical Self-Care: The Doc Tom interview in Mother Earth News (1978)
- Next history lesson: Doc Tom (and the Graedons) in the way-back machine (1980)
- Doc Tom’s Seven Laws of Self-Care (1985) (Go look at those!)
His consumer publications
- Founder and editor of the magazine Medical Self Care, 1975 to 1989
- Health and medical editor for the Millennium Edition Whole Earth Catalog
- The Ferguson Report, a consumer health informatics newsletter
- Medical Self-Care: Access to Health Tools [book], edited by Tom Ferguson (Summit Books, 1980)
- The People’s Book of Medical Tests, by David S. Sobel and Tom Ferguson (Summit Books, 1985)
- The No-Nag, No-Guilt, Do-It-Your-Own-Way Guide to Quitting Smoking, by Tom Ferguson (Ballantyne Books, 1988)
- No Deadly Drug (with Joe Graedon) – medical mystery (Pocket Books, 1992)
- Health Online: How To Find Health Information, Support Groups, And Self Help Communities In Cyberspace, by Tom Ferguson (Da Capo Press, 1996)
Academic publications – partial list
- The Political Economy of Knowledge and the Changing Politics of the Philosophy of Science. Telos Press, 1973 (before medical school)
- Online patient-helpers and physicians working together: a new partnership for high quality health care. BMJ, 2000
- From patients to end users. BMJ, 2002
- The first generation of e-patients. BMJ, 2004 (with SPM co-founder Gilles Frydman)
- What I’ve learned from E-patients. PLoS Med, 2005 (with SPM co-founder Dan Hoch)
- Brief report: What types of Internet guidance do patients want from their physicians? JGIM, Diaz et al, 2005
Again, please join us, as an individual or corporate sponsor, in fulfilling Tom’s vision and furthering his work. He saw the future decades ago, and the time has come.