IndyCar appoints Dr. Julia Vaizer as its first medical director from 2023

Julia Vaizer, assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, will become the first female doctor for IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he takes over next season.

Dr. Vaizer spent the past year assisting Drs. Geoffrey Billows, the series’ longtime medical director, made the announcement during the drivers’ meeting before Sunday’s race in Toronto that he will resign.

Billows has been undergoing treatment for parotid cancer since November 2020 and wants to spend more time with his family. He plans to help Vaizer on a part-time basis while he continues his treatment.

“Dr. Billows and Dr. Vaizer have worked very closely together over the past several years, so we know it will be a seamless transition,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles. “We look forward to continuing to work with Drs. Vaizer as she steps into her new leadership position as IndyCar’s first female medical director.”

Vaizer graduated from the University of Florida in 2011 and received her medical degree from the University of Central Florida in 2016. She completed her emergency residency training at Detroit Receiving Hospital in 2019 and became the first graduate of the IU School of Medicine’s Motorsports Scholarship in July 2021. .

She began her work with IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2018 during an optional training program.

“Dr. Billows has been a friend, mentor, teacher and like family to me,” Vaizer said. “It’s a tremendous honor to be chosen to carry on his legacy. It fills me with inspiration. I know I’m going to work really hard to continued what he has established as one of the most successful medical teams in the world of motorsport. I can’t wait for the next chapter to see how we can continue to improve the field of motorsport medicine for the next generation.”

Billow began his career at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during his 1993 residency as a volunteer at the IU Health Emergency Medical Center in the field during race weeks. He later served as an IndyCar team physician, rising to medical director in 2006; in 2016 he added the job of IndyCar medical director.

All the while, Billows served as an assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine at the IU School of Medicine.

“It’s no secret that the last 20 months have been quite challenging for me,” he said. “I thought, ‘I should enjoy the time I have left.’ But I’m staying to help out part-time because I enjoy it so much. The opportunity to work with IndyCar and IMS was the opportunity of a lifetime. It was a career like no other. It’s quite rewarding. Not only does it give me a chance to help look after the riders, but it also gives me a chance to promote safety in the motorsport industry.”

IndyCar appoints Dr. Julia Vaizer as its first medical director from 2023 originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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