By Dr. Jim Ferguson Summer will soon be here and you may think it’s strange, but I have been thinking about ticks.  Perhaps it’s because I found one on my pant leg this week and, serendipitously(?), an article on these pests appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine. However, as I started this essay, […]

The Watchman

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Some days it’s easier to write than others. Today it’s tough because I have lots of things to do on this gorgeous spring afternoon. Murphey’s Law states that the job at hand expands to fill the time allotted. My corollary to this law is that a job not only fills, but […]

Facts and Fancy

By Dr. Jim Ferguson It’s hard to be objective about yourself.  This is why doctors and patients are advised to seek medical help rather than treat themselves.  However, let’s be honest: we all prescribe for ourselves for minor issues. If my memory serves me correctly, I once wrote a story about the scientific method and […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson Do you remember the days of HMOs?  Back in the 1990s health maintenance organizations were ballyhooed as the way to reduce medical costs.  Basically, this was accomplished by limiting medical services.  The justification for restricting care was to limit waste and unnecessary testing, procedures, etc.  It didn’t work, and HMOs are […]

The Theodicy Question

By Dr. Jim Ferguson I plan to see the movie Noah despite the warnings of some fundamentalists.  I believe my faith can handle a story not told by the King James Bible.  I mean no disrespect to the fundamentalist perspective, which originated in the late 19th century, and holds that every word in the Bible […]

Paradigm Shifts

By Dr. Jim Ferguson “The questions never change, just the answers.”  Sometimes I don’t remember if I’ve written something, read it somewhere, or just thought it.  Perhaps my stories and life  have merged into one composite.  You need to pray for my wife, Becky, because she’s my sounding board as well as my “editress.”  She’s […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson The notion of choice is a fundamental principle with me.  It stems from the doctrine of “free will.”  Ancient philosophers stated that freedom of conscience is really the only thing that cannot be controlled or taken from someone.  The central lesson in the Greek tragedy “Antigone” by Sophocles is affirmed by […]

The Window on Disease

By Dr. Jim Ferguson The chief professor of medicine during my internal medicine residency held that all disease was the result of some infectious process.  Jesus used hyperbole (exaggerated speech) to get people’s attention, and I suspect my professor was doing the same.  Because Dr. Stollerman was an expert in infectious diseases and did the […]

Driv’n Mr. Jim

By Dr. Jim Ferguson The world is very complicated, and I can see why some folks just surrender or retreat.  I’m proud of my mother who has not given up, and not only lives independently, but does email and even follows her family and friends on Face Book.  It takes courage to be “out there” […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson Eleanor Roosevelt once observed that intellectuals function in the realm of ideas, whereas average folks concentrate on events of the day and the rest focus on people.  Life magazine once challenged our minds, but was replaced by Newsweek.  Popular demand soon led to People Magazine and then to one called Self.  […]

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