Patient Advocacy – I am a Ferguson!

I spent a glorious weekend with a small group of Internet health pioneers. One of the questions raised was what do we call the people who are taking an active interest in their health? “Patients” isn’t it. Nor is “consumers” or “users”. “People” is too broad – we are indeed people, but we are also mothers or fathers or children or employees, depending on our current roles. Who are we when we have our health hat on?

No one could think of an existing word that suggested the respect due to the health-activated.

Cheryl Greene suggested a new word, “Fergusons,” in honor of Tom Ferguson, a dear friend and pioneer of the concept of self-care.

I love that idea!

Not only was he an early voice in empowering people about their health, but Tom, taking charge of his own complicated medical condition is a wonderful example for us all.

I am a Ferguson.

Published on: February 28, 2000
About the Author
Photo of Alan Greene MD
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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