By Robert Stephens | March 24, 2023 11:00 am

American Medical Response (AMR) Safety Team members Debra Rusk (left) and Julia Vaizer (right).

As INDYCAR’s first female medical director ever, College of Medicine alumna Julia Vaizer will lead medical operations at one of the largest and loudest single-day sporting event in the world: the Indianapolis 500.

Dr. Vaizer, who graduated with her M.D. from UCF in 2016, is the medical director for INDYCAR and for Indianapolis Motor Speedway where she leads a 200-person team of doctors, nurses and paramedics that will care for a crowd of over 300,000 people.

Dr. Vaizer graduated from the University of Florida in 2011 and earned her medical degree from UCF in 2016. During medical school at UCF, her mentors, Dr. James Sanders and the late Dr. Mänette Monroe often said, “Pick what you like to do and we’ll back you up.” She began her work with IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2018 during an elective training program and spent last season assisting Dr. Geoffrey Billows, the series’ longtime medical director who announced he would be stepping down due to illness.

Dr. Vaizer came to the U.S. from Eastern Europe on Christmas Day in 2005, knowing only a few English words. She jumped right into classes at a junior college a few days later. To learn the language, she listened intently and read nonverbal cues, which she says, in hindsight, made her a better doctor.

See full story on UCF Today.

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