An interest in pursuing medicine revealed itself for Wartelle Castille, MD, during his time in the U.S. Army, where he served as a combat medic. Dr. Castille joined the U.S. Army shortly after graduating high school.
“The more exposure to medicine I received during my tours of duty to different regions of the world, the more interested I became in becoming a physician,” Dr. Castille says.
One of Dr. Castille’s favorite quotes is “You cannot dream what you have not seen.” Although there weren’t many examples of Black doctors for him growing up, the idea of not “knowing” he could be a physician was something that made him question if he was up for the challenge. He was.
Having worked at Our Lady of Lourdes Health for 13 years, Dr. Castille still very much enjoys his work in primary care as an internal medicine physician.
“I hope to continue to provide excellent medical care to those who entrust themselves and their family members to my care,” he says. “I hope to complete my medical career here at Our Lady of Lourdes.”
Diversity matters, in all workplaces and especially in healthcare. Individuals from different backgrounds, with different experiences, lifestyles and perspectives, can exchange those thoughts and ideas for the benefit of the entire organization.
“Because healthcare is something foreign to most Americans having someone who looks like them can really put a patient at ease,” Dr. Castille says. “Having a culturally diverse group of physicians means we can relate to a larger number of our patients.”
Considering Black History Month
“A celebration of the achievements, contributions and accomplishments of African Americans, Black History Month exposes Americans to a culture different form the majority with the hope it will foster mutual respect,” Dr. Castille says. “It gives us time to reflect on all the progress that has been made and to look onward as to how we can improve in the future.”
Inspired by Other Black Americans
Charles Drew, MD, a pioneering innovator in medicine and blood banking who was director of the first American Red Cross Blood Bank, comes to mind for Dr. Castille when thinking about Black American leaders in history.
Personally, Dr. Castille has been most influenced in his career by Ernest Kinchen, MD, a longtime Acadiana surgeon and African American medical trailblazer.
“Dr. K’s tireless efforts in improving the health of African Americans in the Lafayette community is that of legend,” Dr. Castille says.
Equality in healthcare is personal for Dr. Castille who is the father of two daughters. “The fact that in America today Black women have a high mortality concerning their maternal health is very distressing to me.”
Cultivating a beloved community mindset is important work that’s championed by The King Center and is part of our health system’s approach to recognizing Black History Month this year. For Dr. Castille, that includes direct community service.
“I’m an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and we participate in helping with packing and distributing food from our local food bank to those in need,” he says. “We also organize voter registration as part of our civic duty.”
Our DEI Commitment
Our ministry’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion supports culturally competent care education for our team members all year long, including during Black History Month each February.