Catherine was born in Framingham, MA. She attended UMass Amherst for undergraduate, majoring in kinesiology. Afterwards, she joined Teach for America and taught 7th and 8th grade science in the South Bronx while getting a Masters in Education at Pace University. She then attended NYMC for her doctorate degree, and received the Wilfred F. Ruggiero Memorial Scholarship Award. She went to Temple University for general surgery training.