The Center for the Science and Culture of Healthcare
Dimensions is a premier academic enrichment program designed to creatively prepare students for successful careers in a variety of health professions, such as medicine, dentistry, health care administration, and veterinary medicine. Dimensions was conceived by Dr. Larry Dorr '63 after noting that too many residents and fellows were educated in a scientific tunnel.
"Having superior medical/scientific skills is not enough," observed Dr. Dorr. "If you are not capable of demonstrating concern, giving the patient confidence in your treatment and communicating what you are trying to do to give them a positive attitude, your effectiveness as a health care professional ultimately will be limited."
This undergraduate program is believed to be the first of its kind to place meaningful emphasis on the art of healing as well as on the science and treatment of disease.
Five points of distinction
Dimensions is defined and guided by a set of operating principles, listed briefly here and described more fully on our Five Points of Distinction page.
- Excellent preparation in the natural sciences
- An uncommon infusion of the humanities and social sciences
- Meaningful integration of intentional learning
- Professional sculpting
- Success of Cornell graduates
Student & Programmatic Support
A full-time Assistant Director assists students throughout their studies at Cornell. Students receive help with career exploration, such as opportunities to job shadow; information about graduate and professional school pre-requisites; and assistance in obtaining research experience and high profile internship placements. The Dimensions faculty director and a Health Professions Committee provide additional guidance.
The program frequently hosts distinguished visitors for seminars and interactive hands-on workshops, from medical ethics, to specialized topics in health care, to possible careers in various health-related fields. Recent visitors include Dr. Patch Adams, "Humor and Health," and Dr. Dean Hamer, "The God Gene." Dimensions also sponsors symposia on such issues as "Understanding Health Care Reform" and "The Breast Cancer Gene Patent," as well as the development of courses of topical interest such as Medical Anthropology and Health Economics.
Health Career and Graduate Study Support
Dimensions provides support to students pursuing a wide range of interests related to healthcare. The following list represents the health-related careers most commonly sought by Cornell students, and the links lead to a great deal of specific information helpful in preparing for each field:
- Clinical Laboratory Science & Medical Technology
- Medicine: MD, DO, and MD PhD
- Physical Therapy
- Physician's Assistant
- Public Health
MCAT Exam Preparation Assistance
The Dimensions program provides assistance in preparing for the MCAT exam. This assistance includes purchasing commercial MCAT preparation materials, a personal statement writing guide and full-length practice exams for Cornell pre-med students. Health Professions Committee
Cornell has created a Health Professions Committee to assist you in processing your application in a timely manner, writing you a committee letter of recommendation, and uploading your letters of recommendation into VirtualEvals (or other on-line site used by the health professions school). The committee should be utilized by all medical school applicants, and can be used by students applying to dental, veterinary, physician assistant, optometry, or other health professions programs.
Dimensions supports a number of experiential learning opportunities that place students side-by-side with professionals in real-world situations. Internships, independent studies, and job shadowing are great ways to gain insight and experience in a particular field. They also allow you to see whether or not a profession is really for you while strengthening both your resume and your applications to graduate and professional schools.
This school offers programs in: