The Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society Issue 1 Vol 115 - Page 9

I [soon] had all I wanted, and Lee Archer became class president after that. He did an excellent job and was instrumental in organizing an end- of-sophomore-year snow ski trip for all of us to Colorado. It was a big undertaking – we rented a bus and one of our classmates drove. It is one of my fondest memories. “In your junior years, you’re working your separate paths; you’re not as close as during those first two years. But years later, I can say that as a physician, I’ve always had the utmost confidence in Lee Archer. When I was diagnosed with MS, he was the first call I made. He proved that diagnosis to be incorrect, by the way. So, he went from being a classmate to being a physician I would confidently refer patients to, and then he became my own physician.” Athena Davis, practice manager at Davis Neurology in Russellville, is a self-professed tes- tament to Dr. Archer’s kindness and compassion. “My first job in the medical field was in the UAMS Neurology Clinic almost 15 years ago,” shared Davis. “Dr. Archer fostered my career at UAMS. He also helped me through a personal medical issue. He has been a mentor and my doctor, but I am happiest to call him my friend.” Long before receiving all that admiration, the young Dr. Archer chose his medical special- ty based on one of his own role models. He ex- plained, “When I rotated through the Neurology service as an intern in 1983, I was so impressed with the chair of the department, Dennis Lucy, MD, that I decided to be a neurologist. He em- bodied everything that I wanted in my career. His primary concern was always what was best for each patient, he practiced evidence-based medi- cine, and he exhibited ki ndness and generosity to everyone he worked with.” A practicing neurologist for 32 years and chairman of the UAMS Department of Neurology for the past year, Dr. Archer has been instrumental in making the neurology program at UAMS re- gionally recognized and one that covers all sub- specialties. Sleeves still rolled up, he’ll continue to work toward firsts in Arkansas. “We want UAMS to have the first comprehensive stroke care center in Arkansas,” he elaborated, “and we want to es- tablish the first neurocritical care unit in the state that is staffed by trained neurologists.” A civic-minded professional, Dr. Archer is in- volved in numerous medical, community, and reli- gious affiliations. He and his wife are active mem- bers of Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church; NUMBER 1 Dr. Cahill passing the gavel to new AMS President Lee Archer, MD. they have led medical mission trips to Honduras and participated in similar trips to Guatemala. Dr. Archer is greatly regarded for his research and speaking abilities in his field of study. A recog- nized and awarded authority on multiple sclerosis and other aspects of neurology, he has held the titles of Best Neurologist in Arkansas (2007 and 2010, Arkansas Times) and Arkansas Business Health Care Hero (Arkansas Business, 2015). His achievements have included numerous medical student awards for teaching as well as the Helen May Compassionate Care Award (2015). The latter is given in honor of the late Helen May, an advocate of patient rights, dignified and respectful patient care, and a safe care experience. “Every time I see patients, I am drawing on the scientific aspects of their problems and the humanistic aspects of how I will shape a treatment plan to fit their situation.” – Dr. Robert Lee Archer As the face of the Society, Dr. Archer wants to promote increased involvement by the phy- sicians of this state – starting on his own home turf. “Medicine is stronger when physicians work together. If someone is not a member, I want them to join. If someone is a member, I want them to participate,” he stressed. “Being a faculty mem- ber at UAMS, I plan to recruit more physicians from here. We have been underrepresented as a group … that makes no sense because, just like those in private practice, we need the help that organized medicine provides. Here in Arkansas, organized medicine – AMS members and staff – has advanced many of the issues that are impor- tant to all physicians. “The biggest issue right now is tort reform,” said Dr. Archer, of the issue that AMS was instru- mental in getting on the November ballot for a vote. “I will be actively supporting this as much as I can and will work to help other physicians un- derstand the value of organized medicine.” (AMS is in full support of the Arkansans for Jobs and Justice campaign and its support of Senate Joint Resolution 8, a constitutional amendment referred to the voters by the Arkansas General Assembly.) JULY 2018 • 9