Family physician’s personal touch impresses patients

By Pamela Wells

Ramona Lindsay says, Dr. Jacqueline De Castro, her family physician treats her like she is the only patient that she has. Lindsay — who moved to Hanford two years ago — believes that once someone meets De Castro it’s quickly evident why she was drawn instantly to her.

“She must have 32 hours in a day,” said Lindsay. “How else can she do all that she does.”

Some of the things that De Castro has done that impressed Lindsay are:

She makes frequent phone calls to her home to ensure that Lindsay is keeping her high blood pressure under control, she visits her job to check on her, she prints out medical articles for her to read related to her medical concerns, she takes notes on issues that Lindsay shares on her Palm Pilot and she sat with Lindsay for moral support when Lindsay’s 14-year-old daughter had surgery a week ago.

“Dr. De Castro goes the extra mile,” said Lindsay. “I know she has a heavy workload as a doctor, but she always makes me feel like I’m the only person she sees.”

“I like the Hanford community,” said De Castro. “I love the fact that you get to know your patients. Some doctors do not want to see their patients in ordinary settings, but I like it because it means that they are not always sick and they are out enjoying themselves.”

Lindsay met De Castro two years ago when De Castro was a resident in The Central Valley Health Residency Program, located at 1122 N. Harris St.

De Castro, 44, just completed her family health training on June 30.

The Central Valley Family Health Residency, which is at the CVGH facility, is the first in the Central Valley to be affiliated with Loma Linda University. It opened in 2006.

Residents complete their first year of training in specialty areas at LLU and finish their second and third years in Hanford in a unique longitudinal curriculum.

The Hanford and Selma Family Practice celebrated this summer as the first three Hanford residents completed their training. De Castro was among the three that completed training.

“It’s exciting to see our first graduates head out into the field, especially with Dr. De Castro staying here,” said Dan Engeberg, MD, the Hanford medical director. “Our program is growing and attracting great candidates,”

What does De Castro want to bring to the Hanford community?

“I think a lot of people in the community are looking for new doctors to be with,” she added. “Some of them have more patients than they can handle.”

De Castro had a career as an OB/GYN in the Philippines before family lured her to the United States. It was De Castro’s two sons ages, 7 and 5 that prompted her to contemplate a career change from an OB/GYN to a family physician.

“I wanted to spend more time with my sons,” De Castro said. “OB/GYN requires you to be at the hospital all the time. Back then I was not married and I didn’t have a family so I could do that. I started thinking what else could I do as a doctor that would give me flexibility.”

“Jackie is a mature, focused, energetic physician,” said Engeberg. “She is self motivated, always professional. Her medical knowledge is way above average on national testing. We were very blessed to have Dr. De Castro here.”

“I can’t say enough good about her,” said Lindsay. “She truly is a family doctor.”

De Castro private practice is tentatively scheduled to open Aug. 11 at 1524 W. Lacey Blvd., Suite 201.

“My philosophy as a doctor is to take everyday as a blessing,” said De Castro. “I’m looking forward to being of service to the Hanford community.”

The reporter can be reached at 583-2423. see original

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