Meet Dr. Tita Castor, the director of medical education at two of New York City’s busiest public hospitals and a 1988 graduate of St. George’s University School of Medicine.
Her days are busy serving as both the chief of palliative care at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst and as the director of medical education at NYCHHC/Elmhurst and Queens.
“As DME, I am responsible for the education program for SGU at both hospitals,” Dr. Castor said. “I work with our medical education coordinator, clerkship directors, and faculty to make sure our programs are providing excellent education and support to students, while adhering to requirements as outlined by SGU.”
Dr. Castor was first drawn to geriatrics when she was in medical school and later transitioned to palliative medicine. She co-founded the palliative care program at Elmhurst Hospital in 2007.
“In palliative medicine, we care not only for the patient but all those close to the patient or involved in their care,” said Castor. “When a patient receives a serious diagnosis, the whole family receives this diagnosis as well. We often end up supporting their healthcare team of physicians and nurses as the patient approaches the end of life. Many of our palliative care patients are geriatric so I am still able to serve that population in my ‘Pal Care’ practice.”
Dr. Castor’s desire to give back to the next generation of SGU-trained doctors led her to join SOM’s clinical faculty. In addition to her responsibilities as DME, Dr. Castor serves a primary advisor to third- and fourth-year SOM students. Castor helps them navigate their clinical years by:
• discussing with students their progress through their clinical years;
• advising them on their clinical rotation timeline to graduation, and their performance during core rotations and on exams;
• scheduling their fourth-year electives; and
• offering guidance when students apply for the Match.
“Our faculty loves working with SGU students because they are hardworking and always eager to help,” said Dr. Castor.
She emphasized the importance for students to maintain an enthusiasm for learning and the value of seeking mentors while going through their clinical years and beyond.
“I believe the only way to provide good healthcare is to continue to remain well-informed and educated,” she said. “As an educator/mentor, one must share not only knowledge and technical skills but emphasize the importance of learning compassion, empathy, and resilience with those who are up-and-coming in the field.”
If you are currently in rotation at Elmhurst or Queens hospitals, say hello to Dr. Castor!
– Paul Burch