“I would hope that my patients would feel like someone cared about what they had to say and that they would feel like someone took responsibility for helping them.”
Dr. Atkinson is board certified in neurology and sees patients with a wide variety of neurological conditions. She specializes in movement disorders, including tremors, abnormal twisting, writhing movements, and walking problems.
Language(s) - English
Sarah Atkinson, MD, set her mind on pursuing a career in healthcare after accompanying her family on a few medical mission trips to Central America and Africa. She had constantly been exposed to the love of healthcare and caring for people by her father, a family practice physician in Texas, where Dr. Atkinson grew up. She realized that being in healthcare was something she wanted to do to challenge herself and enable her to spend her life improving the lives of others.
She attended Texas A&M for her undergraduate coursework, and in 2015 she graduated from the University of Texas Health Science Center with a Doctorate of Medicine. Dr. Atkinson completed a Neurology residency with Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles and recently concluded a fellowship in movement disorders at the VA hospital in Seattle.
Dr. Atkinson’s patients can expect to be treated with empathy and welcomed with an understanding ear. It is important for her to understand what is going on with her patients physically, mentally, and emotionally. “Interacting with medicine can be difficult and scary at times. I hope my patients would describe me as someone who can help them navigate through this landscape with kindness to achieve the outcomes they want.”
Helping patients find meaningful relief is significant to Dr. Atkinson. A distraught patient visited her, experiencing tremors in his hands. He came from a family with a history of Parkinson’s Disease and was terrified that the tremors were an early sign that he had it. It turned out not to be the onset of Parkinson’s, and the relief that Dr. Atkinson’s diagnosis brought to the patient is a perfect example of what drives her to continue her work.
“It’s rewarding to me when I can sense that patients are getting the feeling that things are going to be OK for the first time. That this is something that they can manage, that we can walk through it together and that they have hope.”
Dr. Atkinson resides in the Corvallis area, along with her husband and their three children. When not serving our community, she likes hiking and visiting local parks to enjoy Oregon’s beautiful scenery. She also enjoys cooking, gardening, reading, and the occasional video game. She has been an avid pianist since she was a child and has a long-standing interest in martial arts that she hopes to continue cultivating.
Movement Disorders, VA Puget Sound, Seattle, WA
Neurology, Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles, CA
Internal Medicine, Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles, CA
MD, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX, 2015; BA, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 2011
Board-certified, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology