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 prerequisites, assistance in obtaining research experience and high profile internship placements, and more. The Dimensions faculty director and the Health Professions Committee provide additional guidance.

Dimensions frequently hosts distinguished visitors for seminars and interactive hands-on workshops on topics from medical ethics, to specialized topics in health care, to possible careers in various health-related fields. Recent visitors include:

  • Sam Kean, author of the national bestsellers The Disappearing Spoon and The Violinist's Thumb.
  • Alumnus Richard Kraig, MD, PhD, the Director of the Migraine Headache Clinic at the University of Chicago Medicine
  • Alumna Marianne VanVooren, PA-C, a practicing physician assistant in pediatrics
  • Alumnus Dixon Xu, a medical student in the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery at Des Moines University. 

Click here to learn about additional events sponsored by Dimensions. 

More about Dimensions