You Can Call Me Dr. Archer

Dr. Archer Atkins getting her doctoral hood

This past Monday, I magically turned into a naturopathic doctor.  In other words, I graduated from naturopathic medical school at Bastyr University.  The picture above was snapped by the Wendy’s Eating Husband just seconds after Dr. Guiltinan gave me my doctoral hood.  Although my squooshed up face of joy is borderline embarassing, I’m glad this priceless moment was captured on film.

the Wendy's Eating Husband and Archer Atkins

During the program my family moved three times, I had two childrenthe Coors Light Drinker died, I celebrated six wedding anniversaries, and we bought a house.  I started in 2006, switched from the 4 year track to the 5 year plan, took a year off for Selah, and then divided my last year into 2 for Re’uth.  Can you add up all that time?  It really has been a long road and I am so glad to be done.

There are many people to thank for this accomplishment.  The person who deserves the most thanks is The Wendy’s Eating Husband.  He did many dishes in the evenings so that I could sleep or study. During my 3rd year of medical school, the pay at his tech job was cut due to the economic recession.  He delivered pizza at Pagliacci to make up for the gap. Later, he started his own business so that we could afford to pay a nanny to be with our girls while I went to class and saw patients on clinic shifts.  This guy is not a slacker.  He has made this degree possible in every way imaginable and I’m so grateful to him for that.  Unfortunately, this degree has made me hate his diet even more.

My mom and me after graduation

When I look back on my life, there are many people who have helped me come to such a place as this.  Whether they have helped me during childhood or during medical school, I would like to acknowledge these special people below:

  • My girls for showing me how much naturopathic medicine can change the course of a life when started from birth. Thank you for being my little patients at home.  Thank you for showing me how much I love pediatrics.
  • My sisters for taking care of family emergencies in Pennsylvania when I had to stay in Seattle due to both medical school and my two girls.  You two are a strong team.  I’m sorry I haven’t been there for some of the toughest moments of our lives. Thank you for being where I wish I could be when I couldn’t.
  • My mom for loving nature, plants, and natural medicine.
  • My pappy for encouraging education and helping me through college.
  • My other parents, Ruth and Curt (Mom and Dad), for loving me more than I could ever imagine being loved.  Thank you for being so generous.  I especially thank Mom for helping me to understand how powerful physical medicine can be.  Thank you for showing me all kinds of stretches and tricks for alleviating musculoskeletal pain.  I hope my future patients have your determination to be well.  I thank Dad for religiously calling me at 4am pacific time, 7am eastern time, so that I could wake up to study.  Knowing that you were going to call always got me out of bed.
  • Brooke, my best friend, for always believing in me and loving me no matter what.
  • Ragini for being my best friend and best study buddy in middle school and high school.  I’ll never forget all our teenybopper talk of how we were going to be doctors when we grew up.  Thank you for helping me to study hard, always, in everything I do. I don’t think I would have had such a strong pursuit of academics if it weren’t for you.  I’m so thankful for you and how you helped me in this way.
  • Ragini’s parents for encouraging me to study hard all the days of my life.  You inspired me to be a doctor, and taught me to achieve excellence in every single thing I do.  I would not be here if it weren’t for you.  Thank you for being so good to me, for talking with me about being a doctor, for listening to me, for knowing me, and for being present to me whenever I was with you.
  • Lynn for encouraging me to do what God has called me to do:  be a naturopathic doctor.  Thank you for walking me through miles of emotional healing, and always loving me regardless of my inner junk.  Thank you for praying for me when you received frantic phone calls from Seattle.  Your healing work with me will be a part of my work as a doctor.
  • Johanna for being the friend that loves at all times.  Thank you for telling me to pray when I felt anxious. Thank you for loving me through so many tough times. Thank you for shaping my faith and helping me to be more present with myself, others, and God.  Thank you for being there for my girls when I had mandatory clinic shifts and all my babysitters were unavailable.
  • The Brenners for being our first Seattle friends.  Thank you for letting us live with you for a few days when our power went out during a crazy Seattle windstorm. You have been there for us every time we needed you.  You are faithful friends, and we love you.
  • My Seattle counselor for walking me through the worst anxiety I have never known. Thank you for your EMDR skills, time, love, support, prayers, and all our intellectual conversations about psychiatric diagnoses in the DSM.
  • My spiritual direction group for knowing who I really am.  It has been so healing and freeing to be known by you.  I feel so overwhelmingly loved and accepted by all of you.  Thank you for helping to guide me through some of the toughest decisions I’ve made in medical school.
  • My church for being such a safe haven for me when life combined with medical school and two kids was overwhelming.  Thank you for praying.  Thank you for reminding me to have fun.  Thank you for nurturing my spiritual gifts to life.  Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for telling me the truth when I needed to hear it the most.

My husband and me after graduation

Above everyone else, I thank God for always showing up when I needed Him the most.  I found Him all over again during naturopathic medical school, and I can not wait to be a part of healing His people.

When I told Selah I was about to be a doctor, she said, “But who’s going to be my mom if you’re going to be a doctor?”.

first photos as a doctor and a mom

Thanks for reading! Enter your email to send new articles directly to your inbox:

9 Responses

  1. Kate Ward

    Congratulations, Dr. Archer!!! Looking forward to seeing what adventures God brings your way as a naturopath!


    Dr. Archer

    Thanks Kate! I’m excited to see what He has in store for me as well!


  2. sandy

    A selfish dream, but would LOVE LOVE LOVE did I mention LOVE for you to come back east and start your practice here in our back yard. But on a side note, Congrats for all the hard work.


    Sharon Houghton

    Yes, I agree! We need more Naturopaths here! CA has enough of them. Plus, I know that your mom misses you. ;-)

    All the best to You!


  3. Dr. Erika

    YEA! MANY CONGRATULATIONS ARCHER! Welcome to the world of Doctorhood!


  4. Pamela

    Congratulations Archer! You are an amazing friend, encourager and now doctor. I am so proud of you and glad to have you in my life. I can’t wait to see what is in store for the next chapter of your life.


  5. Lori

    Congratulations Archer!!! It was a pleasure getting to know you and I loved finding our commonalities. We love Jesus, DR, our families and good health!! You will be an awesome ND. I can’t wait to see what transforms for you.


    Dr. Archer

    Oh, Lori! It was a pleasure getting to know you as well! You’re a beautiful person and thanks for the congrats and encouragement.


  6. Dr's David and Cheryl Wood

    Hi Archer,

    You are in our prayers daily! We are very proud of you and all you have accomplished.
    How were the board exams?

    Once you have finished with the boards give us a call or email. We would like to talk to you about starting at Trinity.

    Love in Christ,

    Dave, Cheryl and our wonder dog, Sophia


Leave a Response

* Required