Dr Vickers graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1990. His early medical training was in Glasgow and Ayrshire and he became a Member of the Royal College of Physicians, having passed their examination in 1993. Dr Vickers started cardiology training in 1994, initially as an experienced senior house officer before becoming a British Heart Foundation Research Fellow with Professor Stuart Cobbe of Glasgow Royal Infirmary as his supervisor. He researched assessment of chest pain.
Following this Dr Vickers obtained a registrar post on the West of Scotland training scheme and completed specialist training in both cardiology and medicine in 2003. Since then he has practiced as a consultant cardiologist at Wishaw General Hospital where he is also Clinical Director for the Emergency and Medical Services Division. Dr Vickers has been practicing at Ross Hall Hospital since May 2007.