Dr. Aguilu is the newest member of our FMG team. He moved here to join his wife, Peggy who has lived in the Portland area for over 25 years.
Dr. Aguilu went to the University of Arizona in Tucson, received his undergraduate degree in biology in 1977 and graduated from the U of A College of Medicine in 1981. Knowing that he wanted to live in the Northwest, he completed his training at Family Medicine Spokane, a University of Washington affiliated residency. He practiced in Spokane at Group Health for two years before moving to Mount Vernon, Washington where he joined North Cascades Family Physicians, a small, private office of excellent physicians. In 1995, Dr. Aguilu was recruited by Central Washington Hospital of Wenatchee, WA to spearhead the development of CWH Family Physicians. He practiced in Wenatchee for two decades doing, inpatient medicine, obstetrics and primary care. He served as Medical Director for the hospital group for 7 years, the chairman of the Family Practice Department for two and as an instructor for the University of Washington Medical Student III Family Practice rotation.
In 2013, Dr. Aguilu moved to Everett, WA where he helped establish the Arlington office for Community Health Center of Snohomish County. At that time, he married Peggy Thatcher and for two years they shared homes in Everett and Portland. In the spring of 2015, Peggy heard that Dr. Harvey was retiring. Dr. Aguilu contacted FMG, spent a few wonderful days with Dr. Harvey at an Oregon Academy of Family Medicine conference, met the other providers and felt an instant sense of common mission. He joined the group and started with FMG at the beginning of September, 2015.
Dr. Aguilu’s journey through medicine has been a long one and has forged his philosophy of healing for the people he cares for. He says “I was eight years old, bored and fidgety, waiting to see and eye doctor. The kindly office nurse distracted me with a demonstration of a model of the human eye. When I named the parts back to her, she commented that I should consider becoming a physician. It was a path that never changed. By ten, I was riding my bicycle down to the construction site of the new University of Arizona College of Medicine. By twelve, I was being ushered out of the medical library because I did not have a student ID…yet. In spite of my love of music, the outdoors, I was drawn to medicine by its combination of science and deep involvement in people’s lives. Good health and even preventive habits were valued in my family and nothing seemed to be of greater importance. It was an active choice and one I am glad I made.
“I have been privileged over the years to work with great mentors. In my ten years at North Cascades Family Physicians, I learned the business, the skills and, most importantly, the art of healing. It was a setting very close to the one here, so joining FMG has felt like coming home. I also have been privileged to pass that knowledge on, to students and, most importantly my patients. I am a teacher at heart and if a patient leaves without understanding their health issues, I have not met the goal of good care.”
Dr. Aguilu also feels that the concept of the Patient Centered Medical Home is the embodiment of what he has been doing throughout his practice life…taking ownership of his patients, their medical issues, seeing that they get preventive care that makes a difference in the quality of their lives, that they are a part of their medical decision-making and most of all…know who their doctor is. “The medical system is complex and confusing, now, even for the most intelligent and educated patients. I am here to help you navigate through that system to get what you need.
“Someone asked me recently why I practice medicine. I joked that it was to make friends. But when I really think about it…”
Dr. Aguilu cares for patients of all ages from newborn to seniors. He does office surgery, including diagnosis and excision of skin cancers and other skin lesions, contraception including IUD’s, periodic preventive care for men and women including PAP smears and colposcopy. He has a strong commitment to safe and effective immunization and welcomes discussion on this issue. He believes in lifestyle changes as the first tool in lowering risk of heart, vascular disease and cancer. He uses non-pharmaceutical treatments such as massage, physical therapy and education, resorting to medication only when that is needed in addition.
He does not do inpatient care, but keeps himself informed and coordinates care by hospital-based physicians and other specialists. He does not do long term pain management involving narcotics but is willing to work with chronic pain patients to find alternative methods of pain management, see to their medical and psychological needs and coordinate care with pain specialists.
Dr. Aguilu is married to Peggy Thatcher, owner/operator of Bridge City Cleaning for over 14 years. He is blessed with two sons, Danny Aguilu, who works in IT at the Gates Foundation in Seattle and Tommy, who also works in IT at the Microsoft Columbia server facility in Quincy, Washington. He has two great step-children, Julia Thatcher who works in her mother’s business and Daniel Thatcher who is a poli-sci student at University of Oregon.
His favorite activity is spending time with his lovely wife and family but close ‘seconds’ include fly fishing, performance music (rock to classical orchestra percussion) and writing. He has several novels in the works as well as fishing memoirs. He is thrilled to be in Portland with its strong arts and outdoors communities.
2647 NE 33rd Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97212
Location Phone: 503-288-0083
Location Fax: 971-282-0120