In Memoriam

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Thomas William Ferguson ’65

A picture of Thomas Ferguson

Thomas William Ferguson ’65, April 14, 2006, from multiple myeloma, while in treatment in Little Rock, Arkansas. Tom attended Reed for four years, leaving to join VISTA in New Jersey and Florida, before moving to the Bay Area, where he taught Montessori, managed a hotel, and was a U.S. Post Office clerk. He completed a BA in 1971 and an MA in 1973 in English at San Francisco State University. He then earned an MD at Yale University in 1976. During his studies at Yale, he was inspired to promote patient self care, urging physicians and patients to work collaboratively, and supported the concept of “e-patients,” who would utilize the resources of the internet. He was author and co-author of a dozen books, including No Deadly Drug, a medical mystery novel (Pocket Books, 1992). Tom was senior associate at the Center for Clinical Computing, a research institute associated with the Harvard Medical School; and an adjunct associate professor of health informatics at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, and at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Center. He was president of Self Care Productions in Austin, editor of the Medical Self-Care journal, and served as medical editor for the Whole Earth Catalog. He received the National Education Press Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award. Tom wrote, “I would like to be remembered as a doctor who helped lay people take greater responsibility for their health—and helped health professionals understand that self care is the foundation of health care.” Survivors include his wife, Meredith Dreiss, and his stepdaughter, mother, brother, and sister.

Appeared in Reed magazine: August 2006

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