Doctor Thinks of Retiring — But He's Only 86
San Francisco News Call Bulletin, 10 June 1964

Dr. Paul CASTELHUN of San Francisco has begun to think about retirement.

In fact he's taken some steps. He is accepting no new patients. And three years ago he stopped performing operations.

But after all he's only 86, and there's no rush.

THIS VETERAN OF 59 years of practice took the time today to talk about some of the major medical advances he's seen, and to urge support of a $750,000 campaign for another — construction of the new St. Luke's Hospital Maternity Wing.

Dr. CASTELHUN contrasted the efficiency and comfort of the planned facility with the far-different maternity customs of his own medical youth.

Most babies were born at home when he started his practice here in 1905. He recalled presiding at three births at three homes in one three hour period, shuttling back and forth in his new-fangled automobile.

HIS FIRST crisis was in 1906 when he helped to pull earthquake victims from the ruins of a Mission District hotel. Then he went to St. Luke's for days of labor to help the injured.

Diphtheria, typhoid fever and even malaria were common in those days — diseases many younger doctors have never seen.

Now Dr. CASTELHUN's practice demonstrates how the population is aging. Heart problems, arteriosclerosis and kidney ailments are regularly seen.

This dean of San Francisco practitioners has one strictly non-medical memory. As a University of California student in 1899 he helped steal the Stanford Ax. But he begged:

"Don't say we stole it. Say we took it away from them."

©1964 San Francisco News Call Bulletin




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