The Doc is In: Joe Wilson was Right

By Dr. Jim Ferguson A liberal friend of mine recently asked me if I’ve gone soft.  Perhaps he was surprised by my Travel Trilogy published in September.  I don’t go out of my way to pick a fight, but I learned long ago on the school yard that a bully cannot be reasoned with or […]

The Doctor is in: Varmints

By Dr. Jim Ferguson October in Knoxville is wonderful– or as they say in Italian, “bellissimo.”  About the time you get sick of one season, another comes along.  I went out the other day and I felt it.  The cooler, dryer weather made me know “Fall is in the air.”  I’ve been on five continents […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson For a long time I’ve had a metaphoric vision of my life as a cross country airplane trip.  As a young man, I packed my bags and hustled to the airport to make my life-flight.  As I fastened my seat belt as I buckled down in college and medical school before […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson At this time of my life I’ve learned to ask, “Why?” when confronted by issues or perspectives.  This is certainly true of politics, but applies in medicine as well.  Our word politics comes from the Greek term polis or city-state. The great statesman, Pericles, of ancient Athens said that the business […]

Fight or Flight

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Recent remarks in the media and by our leaders regarding the Zimmerman trial caused me to reflect on a paper that recently appeared in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).  I first heard of the fight or flight response in health class which we all had to take in […]


“To go against conscience is neither right nor safe.” Martin Luther By Dr. Jim Ferguson Perhaps it’s a bit late to talk about Independence Day, but I wanted everyone to know that Knoxville Tennessee was named the most patriotic city in the United States according to a recent USA Today poll.  I realize most polls […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson A song by Kathy Mattea resonates with me this week because I’m “home alone.”  Mattea described the lifelong relationship of Claire and Edwin, whose byline was, “Where’ve you been?  I’m just not myself when you’re away.” This September Becky and I will have been married thirty-eight years, more than half our […]

FOCUS ON THE LAW: Supremacy Clause

Last week I heard someone complain that our state legislators just don’t understand the Supremacy Clause.  If that statement is true, I am sure they are not the only ones so I thought it might be worth briefly discussing the Supremacy Clause in this column. The Supremacy Clause is found in Article VI, Section 2 […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson No, my title is not a typo, nor am I referring to Google, the internet search engine, or a gargoyle.  These days we are bombarded with information and often by staggering numbers.  I remember when a millionaire was someone like Thurston Howell III on Gilligan’s Island; and I didn’t know anyone […]

Bone Tired

By Dr. Jim Ferguson A patient recently asked me how long I had been writing for The Focus.  I couldn’t remember.  However, I quickly divided two hundred and seventy essays by fifty-two weeks in a year and came up with five years of stories.  I’ve wondered if my muse will someday leave me, but it […]