Bert Vargas, Air Force Veteran
Neurologist, AMR NASCAR Safety Team
Dr. Bert Vargas’s decision to join the U.S. Air Force stemmed from his father and uncle who had both served in the Air Force with distinction. Dr. Vargas served as a Flight Surgeon, the primary doctor for a squadron of pilots, air crew and their families. Dr. Vargas had been in the Air Force for a year when the events of September 11, 2001 occurred. He knew at that moment that his life was going to change drastically but was uncertain of how. Soon after, he was deployed in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He served there with distinction on combat missions. When his commitment ended, he pursued a civilian residency in neurology.
Dr. Vargas joined American Medical Response (AMR) in 2017 when the company began its partnership with NASCAR. In his role, Dr. Vargas helps lead the neurology components of the team’s practice and protocols, including the Concussion Screening and Oversight Program. He often pulls from his military experience in his civilian role.
“Providing the best acute and emergent medical care in austere situations translated nicely into the AMR/NASCAR environment,” he said. “The ability to be flexible, troubleshoot and overcome problems, and think quickly are also very useful in my role. My experience with military traumatic brain injury was helpful for this AMR/NASCAR experience and for my career in general.”
Areas of Service
Dr. Vargas served around the world as a Flight Surgeon in the U.S. Air Force:
- Deployed in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and British Indian Ocean Territory
- Combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan
- Stopovers at bases in Italy, Spain, Germany, England, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Guam
Dr. Vargas earned the rank of Captain, U.S. Air Force. He served for four years as a Flight Surgeon.