Dr. Edgar Elias Quayle, 83, a Washington physician for 53 years, who headed the department of medicine and the department of general practitioners at the old Hahnemann Hospital here for 25 years, died of pneumonia Thursday at the Veterans Administration Hospital.

Dr. Quayle earned a medical degree from Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia in 1926 and studied medicine in Vienna, Austria, before beginning a general practice here in 1927.

Besides his affiliation with Hahnemann Hospital, now part of Sibley Memorial Hospital, he served on the medical staffs of the old Emergency and Garfield hospitals, and of Children's, Suburban, Doctors and Providence hospitals and Washington Hospital Center. He retired last year.

Dr. Quayle also donated his services as an examining physician on the D.C. Selective Service Board for a number of years, for which he received several presidential citations.

He was born in Wellsville, Ohio, and attended engineering school at the Carnegie Institute of Technology.

During World War I, he joined the Army and did research on chemical warfare equipment in this area.

Dr. Quayle lived in Washington. He was a member of the Columbia Clinical Club, the Louis Machall Society, a homeopathic medical society, the Washington Medical and Surgical Society and the Academy of Family Practice.

A former Bethesda resident, he also was a life member of the Rotary Club in Bethesda.

Survivors include his wife, the former Helen Boyd of Washington; a daughter, Mary Ellen Baker of McLean; two sisters, Esther Q. McConville of Boca Raton, Fla., and Dorothy B. Quayle of Wellsville, and two grandchildren.