Rear Admiral Bonnie Burnham Potter was the first female physician in the Navy Medical Corps to be selected for flag rank. She served as the commanding officer of the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Maryland and Chief of the Navy Medical Corps.
A native of Piedmont, California, Rear Admiral Potter graduated from the University of California at Davis in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in Animal Science. Following completion of medical technology training, she attended graduate school at the University of California at Davis in Animal Physiology. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1975.
Potter completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at the Naval Regional Medical Center (NRMC), Oakland, California, where she was Chief Resident from 1978 to 1979. She remained at NRMC Oakland as a staff internist and Residency Training Officer until 1983.