Jason Castillo of Temple City Attains Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Degree
by Joe Castillo
July 2, 2014 • 1,231 views
To follow a profession of a healer is as worthy and honorable an accomplishment as one can hope to achieve. For Temple City’s Jason Castillo, it has been a journey well-worth the time and effort. On May 16th, Jason received a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from the Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific located in Pomona, California during commencement ceremonies held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Now it is on to residency training as he has accepted a position at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas where he will specialize in Psychiatry. He still has four years to go to complete his program but will now be receiving a salary for his work.
His graduation was a culmination of an 8-year journey for the young man whose roots are well established within Temple City. Jason grew up in Temple City and attended K-8 grades at St. Luke School where he was named valedictorian and most outstanding athlete. He participated in local community programs including Temple City American Little League, where he was a starting member of the 1999 TCALL Tigers District 17 Tournament of Champions and the 1997 TCALL 10-Year Old All-Star District 17 Championship teams. In addition, he also played Temple City AYSO and became an Eagle Scout with Troop 161, operating out of 1st United Methodist Church in Temple City, the same troop as NASA Astronaut Steve Lindsey. He then moved on to St. Francis High School in La Canada Flintridge where he received the Fred Purner Humanitarian Award as well as recording the highest score possible on his AP-History tests. His first serious thoughts of getting into medicine were in high school after taking a psychology class, and as a senior he decided to focus on medicine by keeping his head down and working hard so his journey would go by quickly.
Jason accepted a scholarship to Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Biology. He worked the next year at Arcadia Methodist Hospital as an Emergency Medical Technician while busily applying for medical school. Finally, he was accepted to Western University and began work on completing his doctorate. Along the way, he met Dr. Armando Gonzalez, a cardiologist who allowed Jason to follow him and watch him in his surgical operations. Dr. Gonzalez shared his thoughts on the journey to become a doctor and compared it to treading a needle. The hole of the needle is small but once you thread it, you can pull it as much as you want. Jason was also influenced by Dr. Ismael Nuno, a cardiologist whom he followed in his practice for three years and shared stories of becoming a doctor, including getting paid in ‘mole’ in his early years.
Jason’s years at Western University were challenging, especially the third year when he had to work rotating shifts of 27-hour days, attend school and prepare for the medical board exams. As part of his education, Jason worked at Patton State Hospital located in San Bernardino. The hospital is the largest psychiatric facility in the world and Jason learned quite a bit about mental disorders including clinical depression and schizophrenia. The experience allowed him to try and detect patient conditions so that he could help them by finding a cure for their problems. Rotations in Hawaii, UCLA and at Kaiser would further expand Jason’s knowledge. Looking back on his work experience, Jason noted his most rewarding situation was working with a 70-year old patient. From day 1, she could only say one word: “No.” Using research work from Karl Pribram, a professor at Georgetown University, Jason talked with the patient, took her on walks in her wheelchair, and helped to remold her mind to speak more. “If you can get your brain to image what you want it to do, the brain will follow and actions will be initiated,” according to Jason. In time, Jason’s patient spoke more and more words, becoming one of the first success stories of his bright career.
When asked if he would recommend becoming a doctor to young kids, Jason highly recommended the profession for anyone who wants to help others. He stated that you need to know that being a doctor is what you really want to do. You don’t need the best of grades to be successful, you only need to be very focused to achieve long-term success and eventually gratification will be received.
Congratulations to Jason Castillo for keeping his head down, his focus straight and in achieving his goal of becoming a doctor. He has made his parents, Anthony and Denise, his brother Dominic, his family, his friends, and all those who know him in Temple City proud.