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Dr. Francis M. Pottenger, Sr. received the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy at Otterbein College, Westerville, OH in 1892. He subsequently received from his Alma Mater the degree of Master of Philosophy in 1897, Master of Arts in 1905, and Doctor of Laws (Honorary) in 1909. He attended the Medical College of Ohio in 1892-1893, and was graduated by the Cincinnati College of Medicine and Surgery with highest honors in 1894. He took post-graduate work in New York in 1900, and four times went abroad to study in the hospitals of Vienna, Berlin, Munich and London.
After practicing general medicine in Norwood, OH, 1894 – 1895, he established at Monrovia, CA, in the latter year, and was the first physician on the Pacific Coast to specialize extensively in diseases of the chest. This specialization was begun in 1901, and the following year Dr. Pottenger founded the first organization of its kind in the United States: The Southern California Anti-Tuberculosis League, of which he was President for three years. It was later merged into the California Tuberculosis Association. At this time he was known in Europe by his writings, and was appointed one of the American members of the first International Committee to combat Tuberculosis.
The Pottenger Sanatorium was one of the most famous institutions devoted to the treatment of pulmonary diseases. It was established in Monrovia in 1903, opening its doors on December 5 of that year with accommodations for eleven patients. Then expanded to accommodate approximately 134 patients. The long service and unfaltering prestige of this institution reflected the disposition of the founder constantly to regard the patient as well as the disease as the subject of study. The physiological and psychological qualities of patients he believes should receive equal attention to the vagaries of the disease itself.
At the age of twenty-five Dr. Pottenger had become assistant to the chair of surgery at Cincinnati College of Medicine and Surgery, and after settling in Monrovia lectured at the University of Southern California on diseases of the chest and climatology, 1903 – 1904. He was professor of clinical medicine, 1905 – 1909, in the medical department of the University of Southern California, and professor of diseases of the chest in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Los Angeles from 1914 – 1920. Available from Price-Pottenger, Dr. Pottenger’s timeless classic, Symptoms of Visceral Disease: A Study of the Vegetative Nervous System in Its Relationship to Clinical Medicine.