The Doctor Can't Quit
San Francisco Examiner, 10 June 1964

Dr. Paul CASTELHUN, who has treated as many as five generations of one San Francisco family, took the first steps toward retirement when he ceased performing operations three years ago.

He was 83 at the time and felt like slowing down a little.

The grand plans to retire, however, haven't worked out so well. His patients won't let him.


And there's always something new and worthwhile to work for, such as the $750,000 campaign for the St. Luke's Hospital maternity wing.

Doctor CASTELHUN has been on the St. Luke's attending staff since 1905, after completing his internship at San Francisco General Hospital.

In his 59 years of medical practice, he has seen many changes.

"Wherever I went in San Francisco, I'd carry diphtheria anti-toxin because I knew I'd have to use it in a couple of weeks," said the kindly white-haired physician.


"Lobar pneumonia and typhoid fever were commonplace. Malaria cases used to come down from the Central Valley every summer. Modern medicine has changed all that, and some doctors have never seen some of the diseases we treated regularly."

At that time, most babies were born at home, and Doctor CASTELHUN chuckled as he recalled shuttling back and forth in his "horseless carriage" to preside at a series of births in the predawn hours.

The then young doctor's first major crisis came in 1906 with the earthquake. At a Mission District hotel near his home, he helped pull victims from the rubble, later helped with the overflow of patients at St. Luke's and at a temporary county hospital set up at the old Ingleside racetrack, now Urbano Drive.


In local academic circles, Doctor CASTELHUN has attained distinction of another sort even prior to these years. As a University of California student, he helped kidnap the [Stanford Axe at the] UC-Stanford baseball game in the old park at 16th and Folsom Streets.

Still able to drive on long weekend trips, Doctor CASTELHUN is presently away on a two week California tour. When he retires, he plans a long ocean voyage with his wife, Lucy.

©1964 San Francisco Examiner
Extremophiles Inc.