Robert L. “Lee” Archer, M.D., a neurologist and department chairman at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), has been inducted as Arkansas Medical Society president for 2018-2019.
As president of the Arkansas Medical Society, Archer leads the largest professional society for physicians in the state. The society organizes and advocates for the interests of physicians, provides resources and educational opportunities and aims to improve health care in Arkansas by supporting practices that benefit physicians, patients and medical students.
Archer was formally installed at the medical society’s 142nd annual Welcome Reception and President’s Inaugural Gala, held in May at DeGray Lake Resort State Park in Bismarck. The ceremony was performed by outgoing president Amy Cahill, M.D., and other past medical society presidents.
Archer is professor and chair of the Department of Neurology in the UAMS College of Medicine. He also holds the Major and Ruth Nodini Chair in Neurology, a $1.5 million endowment that supports his clinical care, multiple sclerosis research and educational programs.
A fixture at UAMS for more than 30 years, Archer provides world-class care for Arkansans with multiple sclerosis (MS), while teaching and mentoring future neurologists. He has earned the admiration of his patients, students, residents and colleagues.
“Dr. Archer always represents UAMS in the best light,” said Christopher T. Westfall, M.D., F.A.C.S., interim dean of the UAMS College of Medicine. “He is a favorite among patients, a respected leader, physician and multiple sclerosis expert and someone who finds ways to give back to the community and his profession. I know he will be just as much an asset to the medical society as we have long known him to be.”
An El Dorado native, Archer attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and earned his medical degree at UAMS in 1982. He completed his residency at UAMS, joined the faculty in 1986 and has held the rank of professor since 2008. He founded UAMS’ Multiple Sclerosis Service in 1987 and co-directed the Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic at UAMS from 1989 to 2003.
Archer served 13 years as chair of the University Hospital Medical Ethics Advisory Committee. He has served on many other institutional panels, including the College of Medicine Promotion and Tenure Committee, which he chaired in 2016-2017.
He became interim chair of the Department of Neurology in July 2016 and became chairman in August 2017.
Archer is also active in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and several civic organizations. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Association (ARORA) since 2005 and chaired the organization in 2014-2016.
Archer has been married to his wife, Nancy, for 41 years and always credits her as the secret to his success.
“Her love and support has kept me going through the ups and downs, and I would not have accomplished half of what I have done without her,” Archer said. “She is one of many people who I gladly thank for encouraging me and inspiring me to keep learning and growing throughout my career.”
Graduating College of Medicine seniors have awarded Archer three Gold Sash and numerous Red Sash awards for his teaching. He received the Distinguished Faculty Award from the College of Medicine Alumni Association in 2007. In 1999 he received the inaugural Humanism in Medicine Award for faculty in the college. He received the UAMS Helen May Compassionate Care Award in 2015 and was honored later that year as the Physician of the Year in the Arkansas Business Health Care Heroes ceremony. Among many “Best Doctors” recognitions he was voted in 2010 as the Best Neurologist in Arkansas and featured on the cover of the Arkansas Times.