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Bert Vargas, M.D.
Bert Vargas, M.D.

Bert Vargas, M.D.

  • Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute
  • Neurology
  • Headaches
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

Meet Dr. Vargas

Sports Neurologist in Dallas

As a sports neurologist specializing in treating athletes of all ages and levels with sports- or activity-related neurologic injuries, Bert Vargas, M.D., helps his patients safely return to the activities they love as quickly as possible.

He is an expert at evaluating, treating, and monitoring concussion, the most common sports-related head injury, but his practice also includes patients with peripheral nerve injuries, neuromuscular issues, spinal cord injuries, headaches, and neck/back pain.

Unique perspective

An athlete himself and a former flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Vargas brings a unique perspective to treating athletes and other high-performance individuals, such as police officers, firefighters, and military personnel. He has first-hand knowledge of what these patients require to return to play or duty safely and effectively.

“These patients have highly specialized needs, and they are often under a lot of pressure to continue to perform,” Dr. Vargas says. “It’s my job to identify their symptoms, make a diagnosis, and prescribe a treatment plan that is tailored to each individual.

“Concussions aren’t the same for everyone. It is important to have detailed knowledge of each individual’s sport or job-specific needs while formulating a treatment approach and return-to-learn, return-to-play, and return-to-work plans,” he says.

“As much as possible, I get to know each athlete; and I provide a very individualized level of care that may include rehabilitative services, which may include pharmacologic, physical, psychologic, cognitive, or complimentary treatments.”

Specialized Sports Neurology Program

As Director of the Sports Neurology and Concussion Program at UT Southwestern, Dr. Vargas leads a group of highly trained experts conducting the field’s most groundbreaking research and translating their findings to unrivaled patient care.

“The breadth and depth of our program sets us apart from any other program in the country,” he says. “We have the most comprehensive, complete sports neurology program I have encountered. We will undoubtedly establish ourselves as one of the top sports neurology programs because of our extensive team of researchers and our unmatched expertise in diagnosis and treatment.”

As specialists in caring for concussions, team members are likewise experts in treating headaches, including chronic migraines. 

“Headache is the most common symptom of a concussion, so knowledge of these two conditions is of great utility and ultimately leads to better patient care. Our team at UT Southwestern has unparalleled experience in that regard.”

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Biography

Bert Vargas, M.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern and the Director of UTSW’s Sports Neurology and Concussion Program and the Sports Neurology Fellowship Program.

He earned his undergraduate degree in molecular and cellular biology at the University of Arizona and his medical degree from the University of Arizona College of Medicine. He completed an internal medicine internship at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix and then served in the United States Air Force as a flight surgeon.

While on active duty, Dr. Vargas was deployed numerous times in support of Operations Northern Watch, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom.

After concluding his service, Dr. Vargas performed a residency in neurology at New York University and then received advanced training in headache medicine through a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

He spent six years on faculty with the Mayo Clinic before joining UT Southwestern in 2015.

Dr. Vargas’s research interests include telemedicine, including teleconcussion, which is the ability to remotely provide concussion evaluation and care to patients who don’t have access to a specialist. He is also interested in new treatments for post-traumatic headache.

Board certified in Neurology by the American Board of Psychology and Neurology and in Headache Medicine by the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties, Dr. Vargas is also a Fellow of the American Headache Society.

He is on the Board of Directors of the American Headache Society and the Headache Cooperative of the Pacific. He serves as Chair of the American Headache Society Post-traumatic Headache Special Interest Section and the Digital Strategy Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology.

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Education & Training
  • Fellowship - Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education (2008), Headache Medicine
  • Residency - New York University School of Medicine (2007), Neurology
  • Internship - University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix (2000), Internal Medicine
  • Medical School - University of Arizona College of Medicine (1999)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • Arizona Medical Association (1997-2015)
  • American Academy of Neurology (2005)
  • International Headache Society (2006)
  • American Headache Society (2006)
  • Headache Cooperative of the Pacific (2012)
  • Arizona Concussion Coalition (2013-2015)
Honors & Awards
  • United States Air Force Health Professions Scholarship Program (1995-1999)
  • University of Arizona College of Medicine Department of Community Medicine Community Scholar Award (1999)
  • American Headache Society/Merck US Human Health Scholarship Award (2007)
  • Outstanding Course Director Award; Mayo Clinic Headache Symposium (2013)
  • American Headache Society Above and Beyond Award for Significant Service (2013)
  • American Academy of Neurology Emerging Leaders Forum (2013)
Books & Publications
Research
  • Telemedicine
  • Migraine
  • Headache and Facial Pain
  • Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Clinical Focus

  • Headaches
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Concussion

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Q&A by Bert Vargas, M.D.

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UT Southwestern Medical Center at Richardson/Plano

3030 Waterview Parkway
Richardson, Texas 75080
972-669-7070 Directions
1 Clinic at this location