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Dr. Futcher, Medicine

Dr. Palmer H. Futcher, retired professor of medicine, died of pneumonia on January 29, at the age of 93.

Dr. Futcher earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard and his medical degree in 1936 from Johns Hopkins. He also completed his internship and residency there. He served in the Navy during World War II, researching survival-at-sea techniques. After his discharge from the Navy, he worked at Washington University in St. Louis and was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins's School of Medicine for 19 years. He joined Penn in 1967 as an associate clinical professor of medicine. He became  clinical professor of medicine in the associated faculty in 1989 and remained in that position until he retired in 1994.

From 1967 to 1975, he was the head of the American Board of Internal Medicine in Philadelphia, which establishes certification requirements and sets standards in internal medicine. He was also active in the World Federalist Association.

He is survived by his daughters, Jane and Marjorie.

Memorial donations may be made to the World Federalist Movement, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017.


Dr. García, Obstetrics-Gynecology

Dr. Celso-Ramón García, Emeritus William Shippen, Jr. Professor of Human Reproduction,  died on February 1 of cardiovascular disease at the age of 82.    

In the early 1950s, along with Dr. Gregory Pincus and Dr. John Rock, he spearheaded the development of  "The Pill." He did this work when he was an assistant professor at the University of Puerto Rico and pursued it further on his move to Harvard in 1955. His seminal work on the development of the oral contraceptive was published in multiple journals, most notably in three Science manuscripts, which formed the foundation of the applied field of hormonal contraception. In 1965, Dr. García  came to Penn and in 1970 was given an endowment for the William Shippen, Jr. Professorship, which he held until becoming emeritus in 1992.

He made important and innovative contributions to the rapidly growing field of reproductive medicine and surgery. "He spearheaded new approaches to the treatment of tubal disease and his surgical ability in the "conservational" approach to reproductive surgery was legendary," said Dr. Luigi Mastroianni, professor of obstetrics and gynecology. He established one of the first training programs in human reproduction in the world and he instilled in his trainees and colleagues the philosophy that good clinical practice should always be based on sound scientific principles and basic or clinical experimental evidence. It was he, together with Dr. Mastroianni who built the foundations of the Human Reproduction Program at Penn, which today is considered one of the leading programs for patient care, research and training in the world. Many of his trainees now occupy distinguished positions around the world.      

Dr.  García was a Life Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. In 1982-83, he was elected and served as the President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. The following year he was instrumental in organizing the Society of Reproductive Surgeons and served as its founding president.

In 1995, the School of Medicine established the Celso-Ramón García Endowed Professorship to honor  "this great clinician investigator with vision, perseverance, and an unparalleled dedication to women's health." During his career, he received multiple institutional, national and international awards. In 2000, the U.N. honored him with the Scientific Leadership Award.

He is survived by his daughter, Sarita Cole; his son, Celso; four grandchildren; and a sister and brother.

Memorial donations may be made to Faculty Scholarship Fund at the University of Pennsylvania, c/o Penn Medicine Development Office, 3535 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.



  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 21, February 10, 2004