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, physician assistant, biomedical research, 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. 

  1. Excellent preparation in the natural sciences
  2. An uncommon infusion of the humanities and social sciences
  3. Meaningful integration of intentional learning
  4. Professional sculpting
  5. Success of Cornell graduates

Student & Programmatic Support

A full-time Associate 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 alumna Marianne VanVooren, PA-C, a practicing physican assistant in pediatrics and alumnus Dixon Xu, a medical student in the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery at Des Moines University. Upcoming events include the U.S. Library of Medicine's "And that's the humor of it." Shakespeare and the four humors poster exhibition and a visit from well-known author Sam Kean, whose works include The Violinist's Thumb, The Disappearing Spoon, and The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons

Resources from Dimensions

  • 1:1 professional advising for students interested in exploring the healthcare fields
  • Mock interviews
  • Document reviews: resumes, personal statements, cover letters, and research, internship, graduate and professional school applications
  • Job shadowing, internship, service, and research placement assistance  
  • Workshops, speakers, and symposia regarding the fields of healthcare and the health sciences
  • Network building within healthcare
  • Graduate & professional school open houses 
    • Most recently: Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine Open House, University of Iowa Premedical Conference, University of Iowa Physical Therapy as Your Future: From Application to Practice
  • Health Professions Committee
  • Resources for graduate exam preparation: GRE, MCAT, PCAT, DAT  
  • Dimensions Resource Center Library 

More about Dimensions