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The podcast feeding the movement to cure paralysis

Episode 64: A Team Effort

Guests: Camillo Castillo with Emily Coons, Brendan Doksa and Heather Connor

Jason and Matthew interview Dr. Camillo Castillo, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physician at Frazer Rehabilitation Hospital in Louisville KY along with his Clinical SCI Navigation team: Emily Coons, Brendan Doksa and Heather Connor.

We are raising a simple question about the introduction of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) to the clinic: are we ready to receive it? What will that look like? Who follows the person with the stimulator? Who sets the parameters for stimulation? How is it paid for? And what part of SCI is it intended to treat?  Many of us might assume that these questions will work themselves out, but for anyone who has lived through a SCI knows that things don’t simply work themselves out.

So, what can we as a community do to influence the ways in which innovative and curative treatments, not just SCS, unfold for our community, all of our community? Take a listen and please send us your feedback at

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Soundcloud

Bumper music: Me and My Bones by Freaque (SCI musician)

Guest Bio

Dr. Camilo M. Castillo is the Program Director for the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Program at Frazier Neuroscience and Rehabilitation Centers and an Associate Professor for the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Louisville. He works with SCI patients admitted to the Frazier inpatient and University of Louisville Physician clinic. Dr. Castillo's expertise includes acute and long-term management of neurogenic bowel, bladder, cardiovascular, and spasticity after an SCI.

Before living in Louisville, Dr. Castillo worked at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital (MNRH) as a Spinal Cord Injury attending and was later appointed as the Interim Director for the same program. During his years at MNRH, he was very active as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Georgetown University with teaching and mentoring residents during their PM&R training. He also worked very closely with administration to help the quality and safety team develop a High-Reliability Organization (HRO) to promote safety.

Dr. Castillo graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and McGuire Veterans Hospital in Richmond, Virginia where he completed his residency in PM&R and a fellowship in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation. During his PM&R training, he acted as Vice Chief Resident as well as Chief Resident for the Veterans Affairs (VA) site.

Prior to starting his residency, Dr. Castillo worked at the VA in Richmond as a clinical researcher. During his time as a researcher and his graduate medical education, he was involved in clinical, pharmaceutical, and investigator-initiated research studies. He has also co-authored and published manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals as well as a book chapter. He has presented on his research and clinical areas of interest including the long-term effects after SCI, as well as medical and social issues affecting minorities in rehabilitation. He received the Research Excellence Award in the Department of PM&R at VCU, among other awards related to his research.

Dr. Castillo completed his surgical internship at Carillion Health System in Roanoke, VA, and received his medical degree in medicine and surgery from Juan N. Corpas School of Medicine in Santa Fe de Bogota, Colombia. He is board certified in PM&R and SCI. He is a member of the American Academy of PM&R, American Spinal Cord Injury Association (ASIA), Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals (ASCIP), and International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS).

Dr. Castillo is a physician with a worldwide view of medicine. He strives to make systems more efficient, improve the quality and access to care to promote health for  SCI patients living in our community and beyond. He aims to deliver comprehensive, responsible, and holistic interdisciplinary care with human compassion. Dr. Castillo enjoys exercising, spending time with family and friends, traveling with his wife and daughter, and reading.

Dr. Castillo was named the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year by UofL PM&R Residents and was named on the Best Doctors in America List for 2017-2018.

In Fall 2018, Dr. Castillo traveled to Ecuador with the President of the American Spinal Cord Injury Association (ASIA) to speak about Neurogenic Bladder and Pain after Spinal Cord Injury. The event was held by AMLAR - a Congress of the Latin-American Association for Rehabilitation - it is the largest rehabilitation meeting in Latin America with more than 600 attendees from all of Latin America and the Caribbean.

To learn more about Dr. Castillo, click here.

Publications by Dr. Castillo: