Grace Emily Archer, MD, is a retired obstetrician and gynecologist celebrating four decades of specializing in family planning and women’s reproductive healthcare needs. With more than 30 physicians in Dr. Archer’s extended family, she knew that she wanted to become a doctor by the age of six. She considers her grandfather, a missionary and hospital manager who spent much of his career in Korea, to be her primary inspiration and one of her earliest examples of the possibilities that a career in medicine could offer. After completing an Associate of Arts at Amarillo College, Dr. Archer continued her education at the University of Texas, completing her Bachelor of Arts in 1978 after just three years of study.
In 1982, Dr. Archer was awarded her Doctor of Medicine by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. Less than 20 percent of the students in her medical school class were women, and she Archer considers it a career highlight to have been accepted despite the myriad obstacles that women in medicine faced at the time. On the advice of her father, Dr. Archer decided to pursue a specialty in obstetrics and gynecology. She relocated to Boston where she completed both her general internship and an obstetrics-gynecology residency at Brigham & Women’s Hospital between 1982 and 1986. While a resident, Dr. Archer was also awarded a four-year clinical fellowship at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Archer returned to Texas in 1986 after concluding her residency and her clinical fellowship, and became a diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She entered private practice in Amarillo the same year, earning the distinction of being the first board-certified female obstetrics-gynecology practitioner in the state of Texas. Throughout her career, Dr. Archer has provided life-changing care to thousands of patients, including delivering a set of conjoined twins and providing perinatal care to an infant who underwent multiple limb amputations shortly after birth. While she is honored to have touched the lives of so many patients, she is proudest to have been able to care for her own family and to have the skills and knowledge to provide for them.
After almost 40 years, Dr. Archer retired from private practice in 2012 to focus on family life. She is active in volunteerism and community activities, remains affiliated with the Texas Medical Association and is a lifetime member of the Southwestern Medical School Alumni Association. Dr. Archer advises other women considering careers in medicine not to hesitate and to follow their dreams, emphasizing how fascinating and rewarding her own journey has been. Among other career honors, Dr. Archer has been presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her commitment to her patients and practice.