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Our Society’s 2nd Annual “Doc Tom” Awards are now open for nominations! Spread the word, and join us at our annual conference on October 15 for the announcement of our award recipients!

Doc Tom Ferguson was the founder of the e-patient movement. To promote his values, SPM wanted to highlight the work that others do that promotes and commemorates Doc Tom’s overall values and beliefs. In previous years, the following has been included within conference promotions to share and bring light to Doc Tom and the awards:

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.

Last year, 2018, marked the fortieth anniversary of Tom’s graduation from medical school and his first published thoughts on medical self-care. In honor of this, SPM created the “Doc Tom” Award to recognize people and/or organizations whose work exemplifies what Tom foresaw and advocated.

With 2019 commemorating our society’s 10th anniversary, what better than to carry on the tradition of Doc Tom by having our 2nd annual “Doc Tom” award?!

To learn more about Tom’s work, publications, and legacy, visit the /DocTom page on our website:

With the same vision as last year for the awards, there will be two awards: one to signify Tom’s work during his life, and one for what we’ve done with such work since his passing in 2006. Please view the award criteria as follows:

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, and anyone be nominated. Here’s how.

Send email to by September 20th 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!

This is an open nomination process. Award recipients will be decided by a panel of SPM members and announced at our conference, October 15, in Boston. Join us there!



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