Dr. Jemsek’s Memoir

“I am writing a memoir — not because I’m important. What’s important is the story of what happens when doctors dare to put patients above anything else.”

Joseph Jemsek, MD — affectionately known by patients as Dr. J — is a sharp-witted man with a peculiar talent for making his patients at ease and his colleagues uneasy. For twenty-four years, Jemsek sought to decode the mystery of Lyme, more contentious in 2024 than when the first cluster of inexplicable cases was reported in 1976. But despite facing up to slander, battling lawsuits, and surviving bankruptcy and a stream of family challenges, Jemsek continued to practice “common sense medicine”: listening to patients and trusting his clinical findings. For that, he became a godsend to patients, a pariah to Medicine Inc.

In his memoir, Dr. Jemsek intertwines inspiring anecdotes from his remarkable personal and professional story with the story of Lyme disease itself and points to the challenges ahead in the fight against an ever-growing first-world epidemic of chronic illness.

“People ask me why I go through all that I go through. I tell them: I wish to do my part in restoring the nobility of medicine.”

Throughout the book, Jemsek illumines for the lay reader the world of infectious disease, his own discovery of the Lyme labyrinth, treatment innovations he’s introduced during more than two decades, and a possible explanation for the institutional backlash against his heterodox — yet successful — methods.

Readers of Dr. Jemsek’s memoir will better appreciate the scope and severity of the chronic illness epidemic in the United States and the challenges for the medical profession imposed by the corporatization of healthcare.

Stay tuned for news about Dr. Jemsek’s upcoming memoir.

Dr. Jemsek, a Lyme disease advocate