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Dr. Catharine Gail Kincaid

Year of Birth / Death

1939 - 2013

Medical School

Creighton University School of Medicine


New Mexico

Career Path

Dr. Catharine Gail Kincaid


Dr. Catharine Kincaid was the first American Indian to receive a fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health/American Psychiatric Association.


I became a doctor because I believe an individual can make changes and needs to make contributions.


After serving as medical director for the state of New Mexico for four years, Catharine Gail Kincaid, M.D., founded Delphi Unlimited, L.L.C., in 1994, to help employers deliver quality health care services to their employees. Since that time she has served as the firm's president and chief executive officer. Under Dr. Kincaid's direction, Delphi designed and implemented managed-care programs for academic medical centers including the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, and Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

A Native American of Eastern Sioux descent, Catharine Kincaid was born in New Jersey in 1939. From the age of 21, she worked as a systems analyst for IBM in San Francisco, in the company's research and development department. At IBM she developed expertise in massive data retrieval systems for commercial institutions and large health-care applications. After nine years on the job, she enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley in 1969. After completing only three years of undergraduate studies, she was admitted into the Creighton School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1971, where she earned her doctor of medicine degree in 1975. Dr. Kincaid remained at Creighton for her internship and residency in internal medicine from 1975 to 1978. During that same period, she worked at Douglas County Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, providing inpatient medical care to patients with a history of substance abuse who were undergoing detoxification ("detox") programs. She also provided medical and psychiatric care at the hospital's maximum-security ward, which included twelve acute psychiatric beds and three jail cells.

Dr. Kincaid completed her fellowship in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in 1981, and was the first Native American to receive a National Institute of Mental Health/American Psychiatric Association Fellowship.

Combining her training in internal medicine and psychiatry, for many years Dr. Kincaid practiced emergency medicine at Framingham Union Hospital in Framingham, Massachusetts, and later at St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 1981 she was named assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. In 1987 she returned to primary care and in 1988 was named assistant medical director for the Northeast Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1991 Dr. Kincaid was named medical director for the state of New Mexico, where she directed all physician and hospital contracting and administered the state's $43 million health care revenues.

In 1984 Dr. Kincaid served a one-year term as president of the Association of American Indian Physicians. Since 1991 she has served on the executive board of the state of New Mexico's Special Olympics and since 1993 she has been a member of the masters committee of the New Mexico Medical Review Association.

Question and Answer

What was my biggest obstacle?

My greatest obstacles were poor early education and the age at which I made my decisions. I thought medical school was unattainable.

How do I make a difference?

I make a difference in small increments on a daily basis when days go well. Otherwise, it is difficult to see that I do.

Who was my mentor?

My mentor and friend has been Dr. Thomas Whitecloud III, M.D.

How has my career evolved over time?

It is a progressive evolution that is not yet complete. However as I age and continue direct patient care and administration, making changes is still a soug