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It’s here: our Society’s new Doc Tom Awards are open for nominations! Spread the word, and join us at our second annual conference on October 17 for the award!

If you don’t yet know about Doc Tom Ferguson, founder of the e-patient movement, read our /DocTom page. To commemorate and promote his values, in last year’s conference program we included this block:

Coming in 2018: the “Doc Tom” Award

Our Society was created in 2009 to honor and continue the work of “Doc Tom” Ferguson (1943-2006), a true visionary who foresaw decades ago that “e-patients” (empowered, engaged, equipped, enabled) would transform the future of health and care.


2018 marks the fortieth anniversary of Tom’s graduation from medical school and his first published thoughts on medical self-care. In honor of the occasion SPM is creating the “Doc Tom” Award, to recognize people and organizations whose work exemplifies what Tom foresaw and advocated.


Watch our blog for more news. If you’d like to endow the award, contact us. To learn more about Tom’s work, publications, and legacy, visit the /DocTom page on our website:

The time has come! Awards need criteria, and as members of the award team talked about it, we realized we really want two awards, for Tom’s work during his life and for what we’ve done with it since he passed in 2006. Here are the criteria for the two awards:

Award 1: e-Patient Principles

For a person who exemplifies what Tom stood for during his lifetime – specifically, who:

  • Advocates for self-care as an essential element of health and care
  • Promotes either:
    • access to and use of quality online information, services and tools to improve the health of individuals and population; and/or
    • partnership between clinicians and patients/caregivers/families
  • Serves as an innovator, pioneer, role model and exemplar for genuine collaborative, participatory healthcare.

Award 2: Contribution to SPM

For a person who has significantly furthered the visibility and impact of our Society – someone who:

  • Has served the Society for Participatory Medicine as a passionate leader or member, through valuable contribution(s) such as advocating for the cause, leading initiatives that drive and showcase collaboration and partnership between health professionals and people/patients/caregivers/families, etc.
  • Has demonstrated the ability to speak truth to power, challenging the status quo yet able to work with existing structures and teams, in an effort to achieve meaningful improvement in peoples’ health and healthcare
  • Serves as an innovator, pioneer, role model and exemplar for genuine collaborative, participatory healthcare.

Anyone can nominate. Here’s how.

Send email to by August 31 specifying:

  • The person you’re nominating (self-nominations are welcome)
  • Which award (e-Patient Principles or Contribution to SPM)
  • How they meet the criteria.  This should be convincing but doesn’t have to be any specific length.

Spread the word!

Again, this is an open nomination process. Awards will be decided by a panel of SPM members and announced at our conference, October 17, in Boston. Join us there!


Please consider supporting the Society by joining us today! Thank you.