In January 2000, I was due for reappraisal as a GP trainer and it was clear to me that this preoccupation with immunology/morphostasis had become a major impediment to being able to function as well as before. I made it plain that I could not continue to dedicate the same time to these other functions and at the same time field what, I believed – rightly or wrongly – was a major perceptual advance in the way we view all disease and in particular, the immune system.
The doctors appraising me were worried and packed me off home to have "at least 3 months rest". It soon became apparent to me that I had slipped into an obsessional pattern of behaviour and this was a major impediment to my professional function as a general medical practitioner. The problem remains. "Morphostasis" and looking for evidence that immunologists are discovering its worth, rule my life. Either I am left sitting on a concept that I have grossly overvalued (and also my contribution in moving this forward) or the "establishment" of immunology were blind to a major conceptual upheaval. Both are equally possible though subsequent developments seem to be making the second possibility ever more likely.
Whatever, the outcome is that I am retired from general practice on the grounds of ill health (perhaps better described as obsessional preoccupation). Someone is mistaken about the importance of "Morphostasis" and, until recently, the large portion of the army of immunologists seems to be marching the opposite way to me.
Should it eventually prove that I have not overvalued this concept then history may well be repeating itself. "Science advances, funeral by funeral". Recognition of its importance may prove posthumous! It is not that I claim that my contribution is important, great or outstanding but I do believe that the concept that will eventually evolve from it will prove to be staggeringly enormous and a conceptual Jack-in-the-Box second (in impact) to virtually none. Someone was going to notice, sometime, soon. Indeed, others have already noticed at least part of it.
After a year, I took up the post of Fitness Instructor at our local sports centre running the GP referral system (clients referred in by doctors, nurses, physio's). The value of this job to me was incalculable. I am both physically very fit and mentally stabilised by being around physical fitness (a lifelong interest). It is a far cry from what has most interested me – but there it is – the community of immunologists seem to regard me as an unwanted, even unrecognised, wart. I'm not welcome to join in and play; so – I'll have to accept that.
Since 2008 I have been fully retired and am able to concentrate on just my interests.