Men and women who associate with or work with obstetricians often come to know the names of the most respected obstetric professionals. A secretary in obstetric offices at a major university would no doubt acquire such knowledge. She could well share some of that knowledge with her husband.
That was what happened in the last decade of the 20th Century. A secretary in obstetric offices at UCLA learned the names of the doctors who handled the high risk pregnancies. She discovered which of those doctors had earned the largest amount of recognition. And she shared that information with her husband, a scientist at a local biotechnology company.
Now that gentleman had undertaken a research project that involved growth in a suspension culture of mosquito cells. Those cells carried a virus that the scientist wanted to study. Since his own lab lacked a place at which sterile transfer of such cells could be performed, the male scientist frequently worked in an adjoining laboratory.
That scientist did not realize that one of the research associates in that laboratory had been in obstetric offices at UCLA. He did not surmise that fact from his fellow-worker’s conversation, although she mentioned one of the names that he had previously heard from his wife. That same worker had once worked in the amniocentesis laboratory at UCLA. The samples of amniotic fluid sent to that laboratory were taken by an obstetrician who had the respect of many other UCLA obstetricians.
For that reason, the husband and scientist had figured that his co-worker had simply learned from others at UCLA about the reputation of the man who drew into syringes the samples of amniotic fluid. The husband and scientist had learned information from his wife that highlighted the knowledge and expertise of that obstetrician.
One morning after the former UCLA employee had again mentioned a doctor well-known within obstetric circles , the husband and scientist chose to ask a question. He said to his fellow employee, “So, who was your obstetrician?”
That inquiry was based on the knowledge that the female worker had two male children.
That inquiry brought a reply that the scientist had not anticipated.
The woman, who was then performing some sterile transfers, said, “Dr. Tabsh was my obstetrician.”
The scientist and husband said nothing in response. His silence belied his surprise at the answer to his question. He had obviously not realized that his co-worker had been a patient at the obstetric practice of a much-respected physician. He had not appreciated the challenge that her medical condition had offered to the men and women in that obstetric practice.
That same medical condition later forced that female research associate into early retirement. She became a freelance writer, and she began to share some of her stories with the readers of online content.