VA North Texas Health Care System
Former Combat Medic fills crucial role at VA North
Peering through the fish tank-like observation window in the Interventional Radiology Clinic at VA North Texas Health Care System watching Carlos Soto-Gonzales perform a thoracentesis procedure, many would assume he’s one of our highly-trained physicians. Carlos Soto-Gonzales is a Physician Assistant (PA).
PA’s fill a crucial role at VA North Texas, taking care of many or the routine work doctors perform, freeing up the doctors to see more patients. PA’s increase flexibility and accessibility of the VA North Texas Health Care System.
Gonzales started his medical career as a U.S. Army Combat Medic--a 19-Charlie in Army speak--spending 15 months in Afghanistan with the 926th Combat Engineer Brigade and the 19th Special Forces Group.
“I was raised an Army brat and knew right out of high school that medicine was the path I was going to take,” says Gonzales.
Returning from Afghanistan, Carlos took advantage of his Post 9-11 G.I. Bill benefits by continuing his medical training at the University of Alabama for undergraduate studies, followed by the University of Texas Southwestern, earning a Master of Physician Assistant (MPA) on scholarship.
Gonzales remained in the Reserves while earning his MPA, intending to return to active duty status in the future. Subsequently, having survived an IED explosion while in Afghanistan, Gonzales was unable to return to active duty and began working in private practice.
While looking for a way to continue serving his fellow Veterans, Gonzales joined VA in 2010.
“This is where I’ll stay,” says Gonzales. I love the family-like atmosphere and taking care of my fellow Vets.”