H. Phelps Potter Jr., 71, Retired Doctor

Posted: July 19, 1997

H. Phelps Potter Jr., 71, a retired gastroenterologist and internist, and former chairman of the medical department at Paoli Memorial Hospital, died of prostate cancer Thursday at his home in Haverford.

Dr. Potter, a native of Wilmington, graduated from Swarthmore College in 1946 and from Jefferson Medical College in 1949. He began his career at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1961, he was named chief of gastroenterology at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and practiced there until 1969, when he moved to Paoli Memorial Hospital and served as chief of the gastrointestinal section, chairman of the Department of Medicine and president of the medical staff. He was named to the Distinguished Medical Staff there in 1992.

Dr. Potter was also a former consultant at Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in Philadelphia, Wilmington and Coatesville.

He was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, the American College of Physicians, the American Gastroenterology Association, the American Federation of Clinical Research, the College of Physicians in Philadelphia, the American Medical Association, and Planned Parenthood.

Dr. Potter was an advocate of preventive medicine and continuing education for physicians, said his daughter Claire Potter.

He wrote a book, A Better Life with Your Ulcer, for patients with chronic ulcers. He also wrote up many of his cases for medical journals.

After retiring in 1992, he devoted himself to writing medical history and letters to newspapers and medical publications advocating reforms in education, birth control and public health, his daughter said.

Dr. Potter served in the Army during the Korean War and was assigned to special services in Germany.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife of 39 years, Beverly Bond Potter; another daughter, Dorothy; and a sister. .

A memorial service will be held in September at Paoli Memorial Hospital.

The family suggests memorial contributions to Foundation at Paoli, c/o Paoli Memorial Hospital, 255 W. Lancaster Ave., Paoli, Pa. 19301, or Class of 1946, Swarthmore College, 500 College Ave., Swarthmore, Pa. 19081.

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