Robert H. Barter, MD

Bob Barter

Born 1913
Died February 16, 1999

Bob Barter was born in Harvard, Illinois, in 1913 and graduated from Harvard High. He attended the University of Wisconsin on a basketball scholarship, earned his undergraduate degree in 1937, and earned his medical degree in 1940. After interning at Cleveland City Hospital, he began training in obstetrics and gynecology at the Chicago Lying-In Hospital. Called to military service in 1942, he served in the South Pacific and at Walter Reed Army Hospital until 1946; he left the service as a Major in the United States Army Medical Corps. His residency in obstetrics and gynecology was completed at Wisconsin General Hospital in Madison in 1948.

Bob became chief medical officer in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Gallinger Municipal Hospital in Washington, DC, and joined the faculty of the George Washington University School of Medicine, beginning a 41-year academic career at that institution. He was appointed Professor and Chairman of the department in 1958 and continued in this position until 1967; after 1967, he conducted private practice and continued his teaching role until his retirement in 1989. During his career at George Washington University, he served as consultant to the Surgeon General of the United States Air Force, National Institutes of Health, and the Water Reed Army Hospital.

Known nationally and internally as a skilled surgeon, a dynamic teacher of operative skills and a technical innovator, Bob Barter, who followed in the footsteps of his predecessor John Parks, brought great honor to the George Washington University Medical Center through his more than 40 publications and acclaimed surgical films, his innumerable visiting professorships, and his membership in prestigious scientific and honorific societies. He served a president of the Southern Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, as chairman of District IV of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and as Secretary of the Section on Obstetrics and Gynecology of the American Medical Association and represented our discipline on the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons and the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

An ardent golfer, Bob would be seen heading out to the course as soon as the scientific sessions had concluded during meetings of the American Gynecological Society to demonstrate his skills honed at Burning Tree and Congressional Country Clubs. Bob and his wife of 50 years, Joanne, were a dashing and popular couple at the social events of our society.

Robert H. Barter died on February 16, 1999. He will be remembered with affection and admiration by his family, colleagues, patients, and students.

Submitted by Allan B. Weingold, M.D.

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