Catherine Agricola, M.D.
I grew up in a family with four brothers in New Haven, Connecticut. Even though I was, of course, the princess, I gained some rough and tumble skills playing soccer and holding my own in a busy household. I was fortunate to begin violin lessons at age 4 and music became a cornerstone of my life growing up. It continues to be a universal language that I value and share with my family and friends.
I journeyed to Manhattan for my undergraduate education where I studied pre-medical science and music. I loved the hustle and bustle of New York City. I explored the arts and culture and enjoyed many adventures. After a few years of city living, I worked in an immunology lab in Connecticut researching Borrelia burgdorferi, the organism that causes Lyme Disease. I have always loved science. It was my favorite subject in school no matter what grade. I always wanted to know ‘why?’. I am in perpetual awe of the hundreds of years of scientific discoveries that shape our understanding of human life and the universe.
I was blessed to attend one of the most unique and forward thinking medical schools in the country at Yale School of Medicine. I remember an inspiring alumna visiting us one time telling us about her clinic in Africa that operated on a barter system. Imagine exchanging livestock for healthcare? My eyes became widened to the idea that providing medical care could be creative, innovative, and cater to the resources of its community. My true calling into medicine became clearer. The biologic science of medicine was the hook that piqued my interest at first, but the individuals, families, communities - the context of medicine - had me all in.
I married my wonderful husband, Mike, a native of Long Island, after medical school and we ventured to further explore the state of New York in Rochester. I chose to pursue training in a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics program (also known as “Med-Peds”). The training fulfilled that of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and included time addressing “transitional care,” which is the care of children with chronic diseases as they progress into adulthood. While in Rochester, I pursued my interest in the community working alongside passionate advocates particularly for pediatric health.
At the end of our time in Rochester, my husband and I welcomed a beautiful daughter, Maria, and moved our little family to the Hudson Valley to grow and flourish.
For two and a half years, I was practicing primary care in the Hudson Valley in a traditional primary care setting. I had the privilege of caring for hundreds of adults and children and enjoyed getting to know them all. But truth be told, the real world medical practice establishments are a far cry from creative or inspirational. The methods and principles of medical care come not from doctors or patients but from administrative executives and insurance companies. I had almost forgotten what was previously so clear – the practice of medicine is for the people, families, and community.
I met Dr. Vazquez-Bryan, founder of Altucare Primary Medical Care, as a colleague in the hospital. Through casual conversation I was introduced to the concept of Direct Primary Care. She and her family had worked hard since 2016 to build one of the first Direct Primary Care practices in New York state. When she and her family looked to relocate back to the west coast in 2019, the future of Altucare was called into question. But it seemed like a win-win for me to transition to a practice model that better fit my ideals and for Altucare to continue on after Dr. Vazquez-Bryan moved. With her mentorship, I have fully embraced Altucare as my own and am energized to expand on the vision of Direct Primary Care. It is a medical model I truly believe in and am excited to join. Let us all work together to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship and inspire health in our community.
Education and Training
Residency: combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics program at the University of Rochester, NY
Medical Degree: Yale School of Medicine, CT
Bachelor's Degree: Columbia University, NY
American Board of Internal Medicine
American Board of Pediatrics