Blowing your mind with Doc Tom’s seven laws of self care

Regular readers know that our founder, “Doc Tom” Ferguson, was an absolute visionary who saw that patients have a much bigger role in their own health than most people realize – at least in our culture.  The white paper at top right of this site is the culmination of his life’s thinking.

"Doc Tom" Ferguson - 1985

Through some obsessive Googling, I ran across an early bit of Tom’s writing, an article in Mother Earth News about Medical Self Care, the journal he started. And here are the “seven laws of self care” he saw.

In 1985.

  • The First Law: You are already your own doctor. …Research shows that people provide their own illness care between 80 and 98% of the time…
  • The Second Law: Lay people could do even more for themselves if they had better access to currently available health tools, skills, support, and information. …
  • The Third Law: Our most powerful health resources are our spouses, families, friends, social networks, and communities. …
  • The Fourth Law: Health is not the absence of disease. There is a continuum of wellness-illness states. Prevention means focusing on health concerns and behaviors while you are still on the wellness side of the spectrum, rather than waiting to act only when disease or disability occurs. …
  • The Fifth Law: What’s best for your health depends —at least in part—on your belief system. Health is a part of culture, and different people are products of different cultures. It has been well established that the remedies people believe in are much more effective for them. …
  • The Sixth Law: The principal goal of a health care system should be to help people take care of themselves….
  • The Seventh Law: Health is a regenerative function. Your body is like the soil: If properly cared for over a long period of time, it can replenish itself and provide a bounty beyond imagining. But if ignored, depleted, and exploited, it will soon lose its ability to sustain life. …

That was a quarter century ago, and I’m sure that at the time some of it sounded wiggy, too much left-over Woodstock in the water. Well, today we have a lot more research, and science has figured out things that were unknown then. For instance, re our belief systems, in his superb book The Anatomy of Hope Jerome Groopman MD describes (Google Books) how Naloxone, an opiate blocker, also blocks the placebo effect.

Most mind-blowing, to me, is the Second Law: “Lay people could do even more for themselves if they had better access to currently available health tools, skills, support, and information. ” That was 1985, folks – it’s easy to see why his mind was blown when the Web came along in 1994. Less than a year later he created his famous “triangle slides,” (see Steal These Slides), which showed how the Web would turn healthcare on its head.

For us who try to anticipate the future, it’s a thrill to get a glimpse of a real visionary’s vision. Love it!

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Posted in: key people | net-friendly docs | pt/doc co-care | Why PM

 

 

Comments

11 Responses to “Blowing your mind with Doc Tom’s seven laws of self care”

  1. epatientdave says:

    これ面白いな、なのかめが好き http://picup.omocoro.jp/?eid=908

  2. msgreene says:

    【2ch】コピペ情報局 : 甲子園に響いた旭川実の“奇声” 「日本一うるさい三塁手になりたかった」 http://blog.livedoor.jp/ko_jo/archives/51452426.html

  3. Attic find! Blowing yr mind w/ Doc Tom's 7 Laws of Self Care – from *1985* http://bit.ly/bBslSN

  4. Ike Pigott says:

    Always ahead of game RT S4PM: Attic find! Blowing yr mind w/ Doc Tom's 7 Laws of Self Care – from *1985* http://bit.ly/bBslSN

  5. Alan Greene says:

    Always ahead of game RT S4PM: Attic find! Blowing yr mind w/ Doc Tom's 7 Laws of Self Care – from *1985* http://bit.ly/bBslSN

  6. MsGreene says:

    Rt DrGreene: Always ahead of game RT S4PM: Attic find! Blowing yr mind w/ Doc Tom's 7 Laws of Self Care – from *1985* http://bit.ly/bBslSN

  7. RT @S4PM: Attic find! Blowing yr mind w/ Doc Tom's Seven Laws of Self Care – from *1985* http://bit.ly/bBslSN

  8. SusannahFox says:

    Tom Ferguson's Seven Laws of Self Care – from *1985* http://bit.ly/bBslSN (thanks for the flashback @ePatientDave) #hcsm #WhyPM

  9. "Visionary" is when yr 1985 ideas look right, & leading edge, in 2010: RT @S4PM: Doc Tom's 7 Laws of Self Care http://bit.ly/bBslSN

  10. George says:

    Absolutely mind blowing! I’ll haev to go out on a limb here and agree with everything he says.

    Reminds me a bit of “2001: A Space Odyssey” written in 1968 by by Arhut C. Clarke where he stunningly predicts the future we live in today.

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