John Sealy School of Medicine Alumni Awards

2024 Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumni (ASDA) Awardees and Legacy Awardees.

Claudia Potter portrait

Claudia Potter, MD - Legacy Awardee

2022 John Sealy School of Medicine Alumni Association Legacy Award Recipient

Created by the John Sealy School of Medicine Alumni Association in 2022, this award honors and recognizes posthumous alumni who have demonstrated a distinguished career in medicine or academics and continue to inspire future generations. This award comes with a monetary value that is given to the recipient’s specialty department within UTMB to be used for emerging needs and priorities.

About Dr. Claudia Potter

The only female in her class, Dr. Claudia Potter completed medical school in 1904 and was the sixth female physician to graduate from the University of Texas Medical Branch.

Considered an aggressive pioneer in the field of anesthesia, Dr. Potter studied and introduced anesthetic practices that were unprecedented in her day.

In 1923, Dr. Potter investigated the use of ethylene gas as an anesthetic and introduced its use at Scott & White Memorial Hospital and Clinic in Temple, Texas.

In addition to her contributions in developing the practice of gas-based anesthetic in Texas, Dr. Potter accomplished many “firsts” in the field of anesthesia.

Dr. Potter is recognized as the first physician to administer gas anesthesia in Texas and one of the first full-time anesthesiologists documented in the United States. She was a charter member of the Texas Society of Medical Anesthetists, served as president of the organization in 1946-47 and was presiding when then the Texas Medical Society recognized anesthesiology as a separate medical specialty.

Dr. Potter served as the Head of the Department of Anesthesia at Scott & White for more than 40 years and is credited with forging a path for women in medicine in Texas and throughout the nation.

Dr. Potter died February 2, 1970 at the age of 88.

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