A woman, who was six weeks pregnant, had had abdominal pain and fainted. My father made a diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy, where the egg is fertilized and remains in one of the two fallopian tubes leading from the egg sack to the womb. If undetected, the developing embryo eventually ruptures the tube, causing internal bleeding and, if untreated, death.
An intern's diagnosis was pelvic inflammatory disease. A resident concurred with him. My father still insisted her condition was ectopic pregnancy. The chief of the gynecological service saw her and agreed with the intern and resident. There was much discussion among students and house staff about the woman's condition and the differing diagnoses.
After the woman had been observed for awhile, the decision was made to operate.
Interested in seeing which diagnosis was correct, a large group collected in the operating room. After the resident made the preliminary incision, the chief took over, carefully examining her. When he finished, he turned to the large gathering and said, "Well, Dr. Smith was right!"
My father continued to attend clinics five days a week. He was able to gradually overcome the doubt and disdain of some members of the Yale Medical Community. Nevertheless, he had to spend eight years as an observer and part-time fill in before he was finally given an instructorship in 1941. In the early '50's, he received a well-deserved appointment to assistant clinical professor.
My father paid heavy dues for eight years, attending clinics five days a week, in order to get the appointment he wanted. He later collected on those dues in the '50's, '60's and '70's, when he called on the support of the medical school for his community and civic activities.