PIQUA — The local car doctor will be closing the doors of his auto shop — which has been a fixture in the city for three decades — in the next few months in order to pursue his other career in the medical field.
David Castle, owner of Castle’s Auto Repair (CAR), has long been investing his time into two careers, one in his auto shop and the other in neuroscience as a physician assistant (PA). The pull to commit himself fully to the medical field has become too tempting after a team of neurological doctors at the University of North Carolina asked him to come on board with them.
“It was a very generous offer,” Castle said.
He said that he expected to have about five more years serving the local community, but he could not pass up this opportunity. His and his wife, Deborah, have been planning to move south as their daughter, Jessica, lives in Virginia.
Castle considered attending medical school after graduating high school as valedictorian in Bradford. Instead, he entered the Army, first stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas. He then went to work in the Nuclear Security Administration and was stationed in Ft. Carson, Colorado, working on nuclear rounds for three years before leaving the Army.
Castle opened CAR in 1986, and in 1998, he went back to school to pursue his dream career in neurosurgery. He was inspired to go back to school after his wife graduated from Wright State University in 1998.
“I never shut the business down,” Castle said.
Castle went back to school part-time at Edison State Community College before graduating with honors as a physician’s assistant from the Kettering College of Medical Arts in 2002. Not long after that, Castle accepted a position with Premier Health, working with the Clinical Neuroscience Institute at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.
All the while pursuing his dream career, he never forgot his customers who supported him at CAR.
“Most of the people stuck with me so well,” Castle said. “Everybody just kept coming back.”
Castle’s loyal customer base worked around his time constraints, sometimes dropping their cars off at night to get repaired overnight. Castle noted how that worked out for some of the customers, as their cars would be ready to drive by the time they had to go to work the next morning.
Even though CAR is closing, Castle is still thinking of his customers, some of whom are the grandchildren of his original customer base when he opened the shop.
“I have made arrangements for other shops to take care of my core people,” Castle said.“I am taking care of my customers.”
Some of the skills crossed over, such as the delicate tactile motions that doctors do in neurosurgery, which are similar to the motions mechanics do when working on engines. Castle described how both jobs require smooth and methodical movements.
Castle’s PA skills also cover four different specialty areas in the neuroscience field, including neurosurgery, neuro-intervention, neuro-critical care, and stroke.
Castle, who has been working over 100 hours a week to maintain both of his careers for approximately the last 15 years, is looking forward to focusing on one job.
“It’s going to be like a vacation,” he said.
It will not be all work for Castle, though, as he and his wife will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary in Sydney, Australia this New Year’s Eve. After that, they will be going on a motorcycle tour in New Zealand to kick off this new chapter in their lives in North Carolina.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336