By Dr. Jim Ferguson They say Christmas is for children, and I would agree, unless being around kids at Christmas makes you younger at heart. I have four grandchildren ages fourteen to one year old. The teenager is in a “galaxy far, far away,” and a bit too cool for Christmas morning exuberance. And the […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson As the year closes, I find myself considering an end to my weekly column in The Knoxville Focus. Aging doctors, and columnists, need to know when it’s time to go. As best we understand, humans are the only time-conscious creatures on earth. Perhaps an exception is my dog Jack, who knows […]

The Fountain of Youth

By Dr. Jim Ferguson My Christmas essays for 2017 were written in weeks past. So, if you missed them or other essays, the Knoxville Focus has a fine website and archive of previous issues, including my pontifications. Just go to, click on archives and then select the week you missed. Finally, go the bottom […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson This is an unusual Christmas season for me. I say this because all my shopping is done, the presents are wrapped and are already under the tree. I’m not being smug because my wife Becky, like most women, does the lion’s share of Christmas shopping. Actually, she likes shopping, and I […]

The Club

By Dr. Jim Ferguson At church recently, a friend and I were discussing another mutual friend and how we each came to know him. Church-friend knew the fellow as a fraternity brother at UT. I met our mutual friend as a freshmen in medical school. A brotherhood develops among soldiers. The bond with my medical […]



By Dr. Jim Ferguson I sometimes wonder if life is passing me by. Perhaps my feelings are colored by hearing that two more of my long term colleagues have announced their retirements. I’ll admit it’s tricky to know when it’s time to go, and too many seem to stay beyond their time. I advised one […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson Have you ever been the one to not get the message? Well, it just happened to me, four hours before the editorial deadline for this week’s Focus. Apparently, I didn’t get the email that usually reminds columnists to be prepared for an early deadline. To put a positive spin on this […]

How to Grow Old

By Dr. Jim Ferguson I’m a pretty good internist and even have secondary board certification in geriatrics. But, I have no experience in growing old or as I like to say growing “older.” In medicine there is a wisdom axiom which goes, “Watch one, do one, teach one.” I first encountered this philosophy when I […]

Books and observations

By Dr. Jim Ferguson People talk about spring cleaning, but for me fall is a much busier time of the year. It seems that people put off their annual exams as long as possible, and then finally decide to “get’r done.” Fortunately, I now have time to accommodate last-minute requests of my concierge patients, since […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson No, this essay is not about how our leaders are failing in their primary duty which is to protect the citizens of the United States. We all know what must be done to prevent terrorism, but there is not the will to do so in Washington. Israel understands that their neighbors […]