In September of 2009 while taking a computer modeling short-course I had an idea. It was one of those suddenly blinding ideas that I knew immediately would have interesting implications if I could make it work. I spent about a year fleshing it out. Then, I wrote a grant. It was funded on the first application. I developed the idea. I took data. I modeled a test system. I wrote two papers. The first paper was essentially a concept piece that allowed me to get 3000 words published that allowed me to make the second paper of manageable length.
The second paper fills out the meat of the idea. I’m a methodologist at heart. I see different phenotypes as essentially interchangeable from the perspective of how we model the systems of care-delivery. But we use these models to make inferences about the effects of delivery policy on public health. I think this paper is actually something valuable. It’s useful. Other people can take the method, and do interesting things with it in many different fields of health care.
I did science. I’m so happy and so tired. This paper went three rounds of review at PNAS before being rejected there. I thought it might go baby-glam. In the end, it’s in a smaller-but-thoroughly-respectable journal that caters to people who work with computer modeling in the world of medicine. I’m going to make a career out of small papers in small journals and I’m totally ok with that. Eventually, in the end, I think I’ll have made a tiny difference.
This is good news. Today is a good day. And hopefully, this means demonstrated productivity for my next submission this June. Today, I’m a scientist. Today, I’m an engineer. And that doesn’t suck.