We are saddened to announce the passing of former APAP/PAEA president Charles Hilmon Castle, MD, on December 26, 2016. He will be remembered as a pioneer in the early days of the PA profession.
After finishing medical school at the University of Mississippi and Duke University, Dr. Castle took the advice of his mentor, Dr. Eugene Stead, to complete part of his residency at the University of Utah before returning to Duke. Although his time at Utah was interrupted by military service, he returned to Utah to complete his medical education and then joined their medical school faculty in 1959.
In 1970, Dr. Castle — along with William Wilson, PhD — was instrumental in starting Utah’s PA program, which is still consistently ranked as one of the top programs in the United States. The pair established the Utah MEDEX Project, with Dr. Castle becoming chair of the newly formed Department of Family and Community Medicine and Dr. Wilson taking on the role of PA program director.
Soon after that, Dr. Castle was elected to serve as the fourth president of the organization that became PAEA (1975-77), then called the Association of Physician Assistant Programs (APAP). He eventually transitioned back to full-time cardiology practice at Holy Cross Hospital while still serving part-time at the University of Utah Medical Center until his retirement in 1998.
His family said, “It was always a source of pleasure for him to encounter his students in the community and in the field. He experienced personal fulfillment when he saw their good work and dedication to the profession he loved.”
Dr. Castle is survived by his two brothers, five children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. A private memorial service will take place on Memorial Day weekend in Mississippi.