At Medly Pharmacy, our job is to make the prescription process painless. The physicians we work with, of course, are an essential part of that process. In this installment of our ongoing series highlighting various practices and practitioners who’ve partnered with Medly, we’re introducing you to Dr. Oscar Castillo, DPM.
Dr. Oscar Castillo graduated from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. He received his training at Bellevue Hospital and specialized in trauma. He is board-certified by The American Board of Podiatric Medicine and a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Dr. Castillo received his undergraduate in pharmacology from Stony Brook University. He also worked in the World Trade Center Treatment Program at Mount Sinai, dedicated to the care of the World Trade Center volunteers and their vast complications.
He has been in practice since 2007. His podiatric interests lie in reconstructive foot surgery, trauma, wound care, biomechanics, diabetic foot care, general podiatric care, and sports medicine. To find out more about Dr. Castillo and his practice, read our interview below.
Medly: How did you get into medicine?
Dr. Castillo: I had a close friend of mine whose father was a podiatrist back when I was in Stony Brook and a pharmacology major. I went to Mount Sinai Hospital to do training in the summer, and that's how I was exposed to medicine. At that point, once I met my friend's father, I realized that podiatry was a field that I could go into.
Medly: How did you get involved with the volunteers from the World Trade Center, and what has that work been like?
Dr. Castillo: After I graduated in pharmacology at Stony Brook, I was also volunteering in Mount Sinai Hospital. At this point, through my volunteering, I got a position in the World Trade Center clinic where I treated first responders, from volunteers to firefighters to police officers. I started at first as a patient care assistant, just helping the doctors. Eventually, through that experience, I became a coordinator of the clinic, where I had about ten medical assistants under me and seven doctors.
Medly: What are the most common kinds of treatments that people come in for?
Dr. Castillo: In podiatry it varies. Mostly, people come in for diabetic foot care. Usually, they should be seen at least once a year or more. Besides that, I see a lot of working people who are on their feet every day, all day. Many people don't realize that they need a podiatrist until they have foot pain. They often can’t believe there is a doctor that treats this type of pain. Most of the patients are people who work in the hospital, who are on their feet day-to-day, all day. About 10-20% are also sports injuries. That ranges from anything from a regular sprain to a fracture.
Medly: Are there any trends that you've noticed in diabetes foot care management?
Dr. Castillo: Something new that’s emerging is the offering of circulation tests to see if the circulation to the extremities are in good condition. What usually happens is people come into the office to see us late in the disease. We can offer a test to examine the circulation and make sure that they're seen before it's too late. It's called the ABI test.
Medly: How has your approach to supporting patients changed during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Dr. Castillo: Initially people were pretty reluctant to come into the practice, not knowing what measurements we were taking to protect them and protect us. Before, people were able to come in at any time, whenever they wanted to. Now, we have them a set schedule to make sure we don't have too many patients at the same time and can get their temperatures taken. It’s taken a toll on the volume of patients we can see during the day. I think, in a way, that it has also increased the quality of how we care for the patients too, because we're forced to have less people at one time. So I think, for me, it's actually improving the quality of care for patients.
Medly: How did you go into private practice?
Dr. Castillo: When you're in private practice, you are providing quality care. And that's what I wanted to do and practice has been here for 38 years!
Medly: Do you have any advice for somebody that is interested in podiatry?
Dr. Castillo: The truth is it never gets easier, but as long as you love what you're doing, you're going to be great at it. There's so many fields in podiatry. There's sports medicine. There's wound care. There’s the surgical aspect of it. There's the dermatologic aspect of it. It’s a field that's growing. It’s also a field that gives you family time. That's something that you're going to value in the future. It’s one of those fields that people come into the office, they come in with pain. 95% of them leave with no pain. It's gratifying. So if they want to go for it, I'd definitely say go with it because it's worth every single penny.
Medly: How do you stay up to date on the latest news and trends in your specialty?
Dr. Castillo: ABPS, ABPM. These are my go-to programs for me to read more about what's going on in podiatry. Staying up-to-date is a must, and it's something that's easily accessible now. You can just go online and take a class for two, three hours.
Medly: How has your experience with Medly been so far?
Dr. Castillo: So far the service that you have offered has been outstanding. No complaints from the patients. You go above and beyond. If you can't deliver the medication to the patients, it will be here in the office for them two days later. That's a service that you don't really get much in other specialty pharmacies.
Medly: How do you select which patients you send to Medly?
Dr. Castillo: Usually I send patients who need medications that are really hard to get. The other offices, the other pharmacies aren’t able to get them, especially when it comes to wound care. Wound care is a big part of our practice and then finding a pharmacy that's able to offer those products right away to the patients is something that we need and it's something that I get from Medly
To find out more about Dr. Castillo, or his work at Bronx Foot Care, visit bronxfootcare.com