Dr. Catherine Skae knew early on that she wanted to pursue a career in medicine, but it wasn’t until her third year of medical school that she decided on pediatrics as her specialty after helping to manage a child with diabetes.
Thereafter, “I chose Montefiore-Einstein after watching a physician care for an infant with a cardiac arrhythmia in an emergency department and decided right then and there that I wanted to train wherever that doctor trained because I wanted to be able to handle such an emergency in the competent, compassionate, professional, brilliant way she had,” Dr. Skae recalls. Her desire to work in a helping profession was also influenced by her family’s experience watching her mother’s “valiant battle” with cancer.
Dr. Skae began college early and achieved something truly remarkable in her teens: she graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology within just one day of graduating from the Academy of the Holy Angels high school in Demarest, New Jersey. She went on to SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine and Biological Sciences and later completed her internship and residency at Montefiore-Einstein, where she also served as Chief Resident before joining the faculty of the Department of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and serving as an attending physician.
Throughout her career, Dr. Skae has made numerous contributions to the Montefiore-Einstein community. She has served as assistant chief of service, residency training director, and vice chair for education in the Department of Pediatrics. Today, she acts as the institution’s principal liaison with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) overseeing the 101 ACGME-accredited programs, in addition to numerous other programs involving over 1,600 residents and fellows in training at Montefiore-Einstein. During her tenure, the vast majority of residency and fellowship programs received outstanding reviews and commendations from national review committees. Dr. Skae also serves as the principal investigator on an AMA Reimagining Resident Grant on the Social Determinants of Health.
Teaching is important to Dr. Skae who says she “cares deeply about the education of the next generation of caregivers.”
“I most enjoy mentoring my junior colleagues with their career aspirations, as well as contributing to supportive clinical learning environments and the future of medicine,” she explains. Dr. Skae advises college students to secure good mentorship and to keep a growth mindset open to new possibilities.
Philip O. Ozuah, MD, Ph.D., President and CEO of Montefiore Medicine, stated in an announcement about Dr. Skae’s March 2022 promotion: “The record of accomplishments achieved during Dr. Skae’s tenure as leader of our graduate medical education programs exemplifies the unparalleled excellence we value as part of a very proud tradition at Montefiore-Einstein.”
In 2010, she received an honorary doctorate from STAC, and Dr. Skae has also been recognized with several awards for excellence in teaching. Her research has been published in medical journals, books, and other publications.
Dr. Skae is a member of the Board of Trustees of Don Bosco Preparatory High School in Ramsey, New Jersey. She also manages the Touched by Carolyn Program in honor and memory of Carolyn Sullivan from Pearl River, New York. This program provides iTouches to children undergoing radiation therapy. She is a parishioner at the Church of the Presentation in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, and in her free time enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, extended family, and friends.