I received email notification that JAMA rejected my 'Piece of Mind' essay. It was a terse we are not interested. No mention was made of the content, their objections, or the quality of writing. This makes the third rejection of what I thought was a solid piece of writing about a major gap in the health reform conversation - the burden of illness carried by hard working US citizens who live without health insurance. I believe giving access to care to these millions is the most important feature of the current health bills. There have been statistics of this group and how much providing access may cost, but there has not been enough personal stories. These stories cut through so much of the resistance to reform because they tell real stories of real people with poor health, at high risk for worse health because they cannot afford American health care, who wake up every day hoping that they do not become ill or hurt.
Having been a member of the medical profession for 40 years and practiced general internal medicine for more than 35 years, I have seen both the amazing medical advances of the past four decades as well as the failings of the way we provide care. My experience is not unique. What perhaps is unique is my determination to tell my professional story. If the newspapers and the medical journal don't want to publish it, starting today I will try to tell it on my blog. DrF