Dr. John Matthai Scott, 83, veteran physician

John Matthai Scott, who practiced internal medicine in Baltimore for 44 years and made house calls until 1990, died yesterday of respiratory failure at his Roland Park home.

Dr. Scott, who was 83, was remembered by family and friends as a dedicated physician and "a wonderful, warm, genuine human being who cared a great deal for other people."


From the time he returned to Baltimore in 1946 after serving in World War II until his retirement in 1990, Dr. Scott practiced in Roland Park -- first in the family's home and later in an office on Northern Parkway across the street from the Gilman School, his alma mater.

Dr. Scott's son, John Christopher Matthai Scott, remembered the days when his father's patients shared the home with his family.


"Medicine and his family were his whole life," his son said. "He never sacrificed his family for his medicine, yet he was completely dedicated to his patients."

The Rev. Robert P. Patterson, who served as rector of the Church of the Redeemer in Rodgers Forge for 28 years, said Dr. Scott was both his physician and his friend.

"Once, a piece of my automatic garage door opener broke off and whacked me on the head, knocking me out. He came right vTC over to my house and looked at me, said I needed sutures and took me to the emergency room himself," Mr. Patterson said. "Most doctors would have just sent me to the emergency room, but not Dr. Scott. He was like that image of a country doctor who cares for and knows all of his patients."

Born in Roland Park in October 1911, Dr. Scott graduated from the Gilman School in 1930. He earned his bachelor's degree at the Johns Hopkins University in 1934, and then attended the University of Maryland medical school, where he was president of the class of 1938.

He served as an intern at Maryland General Hospital and as a resident at New York Hospital at Cornell University. While at New York Hospital, he joined the U.S. Army to serve as a doctor in the South Pacific during World War II, attaining the rank of major.

During his 44 years of practice in Baltimore, Dr. Scott served on the staffs of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Union Memorial Hospital and the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He also taught at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine from the late 1950s until his retirement.

Dr. Thomas Turner, former dean of the Johns Hopkins medical school, called Dr. Scott "a very respected and effective internist."

"I think Baltimore has been known for its good internists -- many of them trained at Hopkins and also at the University of Maryland, and he was part of the group that represented the modern family physician that limits practice to internal medicine," Dr. Turner said.


Dr. Scott also was known for his community and church service. He served two three-year terms as a member of the vestry at the Church of the Redeemer, once in the mid-1950s and again in the early 1960s.

In addition, Dr. Scott served on the board of directors for the Episcopal Ministries to the Aging, and the board of the Uplands Home for Church Women, now part of the Episcopal Ministries to the Aging.

"He was very humble, self-effacing, never one to promote himself, but always to offer wise counsel from a medical point of view, and the point of view of what I guess we would call humanity," recalled James Garrett, who also served on the boards of those two organizations. "I teach at Gilman, and he was a dedicated alumnus, parent and grandparent," Mr. Garrett said. "I taught his grandson a few years ago, and I saw him at school functions, too."

Dr. Scott is survived by his wife, the former Elizabeth Brooks Tottle; two sons, John Christopher Matthai Scott and Stephen Tottle Scott; and four grandchildren.

A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday in the chapel of the Church of the Redeemer at 5603 N. Charles St.

Contributions may be made to the Church of the Redeemer or the Gilman School.