Two years after my husband's death in 1977, I retired from my
position as ophthalmologist at the Yale University Health Center .
I had enjoyed working with the students, faculty, and anybody connected
with the university from the university’s president to the cleaning
personnel, but' as I was the oldest physician on the staff it was time
to leave. I was looking forward to an easy life and at first it was
very pleasant indeed. I got up in the morning when I wanted to, went
to lectures and exhibitions, had luncheon engagements, visited New
York and traveled to places wherever I had friends and relatives. But
sooner or later this aimless life did not agree with me. I needed a
certain discipline and purpose. So I looked around for voluntary work.
At a meeting I had met the director of a geriatric nursing home in
New Haven with about 150 to 200 patients. She asked me whether I would
consider doing some research for her. She was interested specifically
in a statistical analysis of the incidence of eye diseases in the patients
and the follow-- up of the pathological conditions. My time was my
own and I could come and go whenever I wanted. A room with a large
desk was provided for me and nurses and other personnel were very cooperative.
I studied the file of each patient from their arrival of to the present
and then would scrutinize the history of their eye problems, noting
especially whether appointments with their treating physicians were
In the room where I worked there was a cabinet where medications were
kept under lock and key. I began to notice that certain nurses
would come into the room and remove medications which they furtively
placed in their handbags. I was almost finished with my project. When
I discussed the research with the director I said to her: "By the
way, I am disturbed by the behavior of certain nurses" and without
naming names I told her what I had observed. I do not know what went
on between the director and the nurses, but from that moment I was ostracized
and nobody spoke to me. Luckily my research was completed. I had found
out among other things that the nurses did indeed do a good job to see
to it that the patients visited their physicians regularly. Still the
question remains, should I have snitched on them?