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We’ve often written here about what a visionary our movement’s founder “Doc Tom” Ferguson was. As the medical editor of The Whole Earth Catalog and publisher of the magazine and book Medical Self-Care , he saw the role of the patient and family in healthcare. And when the internet came along, he saw how profoundly it would change what patients could contribute to healthcare.

Not everyone, in those days, got it so well.

I’m at Dignity Health‘s big physician symposium in Las Vegas. The current speaker is Deirdre Baggot, PhD (c), VP of The Camden Group. She opened with a terrific 90 second video – I can’t believe I’ve never seen it:

(The YouTube description says “This is reportedly footage from between segments that was not originally aired…”)

Think about this. Think about how rapidly things change.

As we work to create a new world of participatory medicine it behooves us to have compassion for people who had become excellent in their trades before THIS came along. And I’m heartened by the knowledge that almost all of us have figured out what that funny little “a in a circle” thing is. Change is possible.

This aired in 1994, the year when the first real browser (Mozilla) came out. And less than a year later, “Doc Tom” Ferguson published his amazing vision of what it meant for healthcare, which I described as “Steal These Slides.”

It’s also the date of the opening anecdote in Tom’s e-Patient White Paper, in which a patient got busted for impersonating a doctor so he could read a journal article about the surgery he was about to get.

Tom sure got it. And kudos yet again to Robert Wood Johnson for seeing ten years ago that what Tom was doing would pan out pretty darn well.

Bonus clip on teams

While I’m at it – discussing how health reform is forcing providers to form teams, Dr. Richard Blakeley of Memorial Herrman Physician Network showed this classic of what it looks like when members of a team fight. (The dog’s mouth and foot need each other, but…)