Medicalese

By Dr. Jim Ferguson I’m often asked to comment on or explain what another doctor told a friend or family member. However, I’m careful to comment, other than in general terms, because I have incomplete information. Doctors call superficial opinions “curbside consultations.” They do a disservice to patients and are medicolegally risky because the law […]

Communication

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Communication is a delicate art, and unfortunately, too often taken for granted. Do words adequately convey our thoughts? You can read my words, but they are, at best, a reflection of my thoughts. Plato’s illusion of the cave comes to mind. Direct conversation is better than the written word because the […]

What Happened?

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Like many other Americans, Becky and I celebrated the birthday of our country last Tuesday. Unfortunately, a lot did not, if you believe the latest Fox News poll which found that 45% of Americans are not proud of our country. And not surprisingly, this fell along political lines. Perhaps, because I […]

‘Now I lay me down to sleep…’

By Dr. Jim Ferguson I never know what I’m going to write about. I used to fret about my publishing deadline. However, after writing a half million words, I don’t search for storylines  anymore, I just wait for stories to find me. And sometimes I don’t know where my thoughts or writing will take me. […]

Down the Rabbit Hole

By Dr. Jim Ferguson I don’t pretend to understand how computers work. Like most of us, I have a vague comprehension of electrons swirling through silicon pathways within the devices we hold in our hands or sit on our desktops. I appreciate quantum mechanics which describe the physics of computers that run the modern world. […]

Rhetoric

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Christmas has come to the Ferguson home in June. We’ve begun to move into our new house, but we’re still living out of boxes, and each one we open is like a surprise on Christmas morning. I’m still looking for the box that contains my underwear. The one labeled “Jim’s clothing” […]

Yard Signs

By Dr. Jim Ferguson As I pen this essay Becky and I are homeless. Actually, we’re “tweeners,” between our former home (Big House, which my daughter and her family now occupy) and our New House, which is not quite ready. It’s worked out OK because we’ve been with my Mom, who had surgery and needed […]

Tour of Duty

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Often, the hardest part of writing is getting started. Sometimes I think I’ve said enough in this column after a half million words. This is especially true as another editorial deadline approaches. And then I get a phone call of praise or a fellow church member thanks me for a recent […]

The Maestro

By Dr. Jim Ferguson You may not be aware of it, but Knoxville is in possession of a jewel. No, I’m not referring to the Knoxville Zoo or the University of Tennessee, both great aspects of our community. I’m referring to the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.  Recently, my brother and I attended the KSO performance of […]

Good Bones

By Dr. Jim Ferguson I have mentioned in previous essays that my wife, Becky, and I are in the midst of  downsizing. When we first built our home thirty-seven years ago I swore I would never do it again. I have always said they would have to take me straight from my house to the […]