Cook County Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Cook County Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery has been present for nearly one hundred years.  Established in 1915 as the Department of Dental Surgery by Herbert Anthony Potts (1873-1942), the program quickly became a wonderful success.  Early Cook County Hospital reports stated, "When we view the great results that have been obtained, it is almost impossible to understand how we got along without it in previous years."  Dr. Potts received his D.D.S. degree in 1895.  He attended Northwestern University Medical School and was granted his M.D. degree in 1901.  After completing his surgical internship he studied abroad in Vienna and Bonn perfecting various techniques of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery with emphasis on anesthesia. Dr. Potts was the first dentist in the Chicago area to use novocaine for the extraction of teeth.  In 1908, Dr. Potts returned to Chicago and began teaching at Northwestern Dental School in the departments of pathology and oral surgery.  His teaching assignment was interrupted due to World War I where he was a Major in the Medical Corps serving with distinction in France at several hospitals.  Upon his return from France, he organized the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department at Cook County Hospital.  He served here as the Chief of the OMFS department for fourteen years.  It was during this time that he developed a popular dental instrument which bears his name, the Potts elevator.

       At the time the program was started all attending staff served without pay on a volunteer basis.  When the program was first founded the hospital was comprised of 2,700 beds, making the County hospital the second largest in the world.  It is no wonder that early reports about the new department of OMFS at Cook County Hospital state that "the work already done has been a great benefit to many patients."  By the time of Dr. Potts death in 1943 the annual salary of a resident was $300 dollars, the program was comprised of 2 attendings, 2 residents.

     Today, the Cook County Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department has 8 residents, 2 interns, and many full and part time faculty.  The program is an integral part of the hospital.  The outpatient clinic is one of the three busiest clinics in the hospital, treating around 15,000 patients a year, also making it one of the top ten busiest outpatient OMFS residency clinics in the nation.  OMFS plays a pivotal role in the care of emergency and trauma patients as well as providing valuable services to the community in the treatment of oral and maxillofacial pathology and disorders.  Cook County Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery looks forward to the next 100 years as we continue in the tradition of excellence that made such a great impression many years ago.

About Cook County Hospital
Clinical Training Programs
ACGME Accredited Residency Programs
  • Anesthesiology
  • Dermatology
  • Diagnostic Radiology
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Ophthalmology
  • Pediatrics
ADA Accredited Residency
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
AOA Accredited Programs
  • Osteopathic Internship
  • Urology
  • Neurosurgery
ACGME Accredited Fellowship Programs
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Colon and Rectal Surgery
  • Gastroenterology
  • Hematology and Oncology
  • Medical Toxicology
  • Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
  • Pain Medicine
  • Palliative Medicine (beginning July 2011)
  • Preventive Medicine
  • Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine
  • Surgical Critical Care
Affiliated Programs
  • Allergy and Immunology – Rush University
  • Critical Care Medicine – Rush University
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism – Rush University
  • Family Practice – Loyola University Medical Center
  • Infectious Disease – Rush University
  • Nephrology – Rush University, UIC of Medicine at Chicago
  • Neurology – Rush University
  • Orthopedic Surgery – Rush University & Northwestern University
  • Otolaryngology – UIC of Medicine at Chicago & Northwestern University
  • Rheumatology – Rush University
  • Surgery-General – Rush University
  • Thoracic Surgery – Rush University

John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County (formerly Cook County Hospital) opened its doors to the public in December 2002. The hospital provides a full range of inpatient services for adult and pediatric patients in a variety of medical specialties, including services for chronic disease, burns, a level-1 trauma center, and emergency services. As one of the most significant county public works projects to date, Stroger Hospital has roughly 464 beds, 1.2 million square feet of new construction, and approximately 59,000 square feet of renovation, serving all residents of Cook County.

To read more visit:
About Stroger Cook County Hospital