The Ferguson Report
Number 3 · May, 1999
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Heard on the Net:
eBay's Credo: Trust Thy Customer

Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay, gave a great talk in DC last week. She blew everyone away with her account of how founder Pierre Omidyar developed the site that became eBay in order to help his wife interact with other Pez collectors online. I'd heard the story before but had missed the real take-home lesson -- Pierre developed the eBay model not for a "customer" but for someone he loved.  [ ... more]

Industry Profiles:
Free Online Docs at Service is Funded by Referrals

Online self-helpers can now talk to a doctor online, for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at "We have a doctor waiting to talk to you, instead of the other way around," said Scott Rifkin, M.D., President and CEO. "Sure, there's tons of medical information on the Internet, but many patients would still rather ask a doctor about their health concerns. Unfortunately, most doctors are not that easy to reach. With, you don't have to wait till your own doctor's office op ens. And you never have to worry about interrupting your doctor at night or on the weekends."  [ ... more]

Upcoming Meetings:
eHealthcare World
Chicago, May 10-12, 1999
SunTrust Equitable Securities Digital Health Care
Nashville, May 26, 1999

The Ferguson Report's Outstanding Achievement Awards:
Gilles J. Frydman & Lawrence L. Weed, M.D.

This issue's Achievement Awards go to two outstanding individuals: Gilles J. Frydman, President of the Association of Cancer Online Resources and Lawrence L. Weed, M.D., President and Founder of PKC Corporation.  [ ... more]

Your Contributions to Our Next Issue

We invite your input for future issues. We're especially interested in your suggestions for Sites 2B Seen, Recommended Reading, Industry News & Gossip, and your questions for Doctom's FAQ. We also welcome your criticisms, comments, love notes, death threats, wild ideas, unfounded rumors, rants, raves, and press releases.  [ ... more]

Industry Trends:
Online Self-helpers Go Public with Personal Stories

Self-helpers' personal stories are emerging as an important new type of online health resource. Such stories can help give health information a human face. They can provide inspiration, encouragement, and support as well as useful information and links to other resources. Personal accounts can be a gathering point for self-helpers with similar interests and a starting point for those facing a new health problem. Here are five sites that use personal stories in interesting and useful ways...  [ ... more]

Doctom's FAQ:
How Should Doctors Respond to Net-Savvy Patients?

by Tom Ferguson, M.D.

The best and the brightest of the patients who've "gone to medical school" on the Internet are now sometimes coming into the doctor's office knowing more than their doctor about some aspects of their condition. Others sometimes come in thinking that th ey know more than they really do. And it's not always easy to tell the difference.  [ ... more]

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© Copyright 1999 Tom Ferguson, M.D. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form without prior written permission is prohibited. ISSN 1520-5487. For active players in the online health revolution.