Letters from Columbia-Bassett Program Deans


Dear Applicants,

For 80 years, Columbia has sent students to a unique health system in rural upstate New York — Bassett Healthcare. It has been lauded by generations of Columbia students as one of the best clinical experiences in medical school. In response to the recent call for more physicians in the United States, particularly in rural environments, Columbia and Bassett have partnered to create the Columbia-Bassett Program. In Cooperstown, a beautiful and exceptional village, you will experience an efficient health system that accommodates 800,000 patient visits a year. Beyond the great clinical education that always accompanies a Columbia diploma, graduates will have innovative experiences in human insight and health systems capability.

I always look forward to meeting the mission-driven students of this new Columbia Campus.

Lee Goldman, M.D.

Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences, Columbia University

Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center


Dear Applicants,

In 2010, Columbia opened the Columbia-Bassett Program. You can learn a great deal about this program, its location, its focus on root causes of illness, and its underlying health systems rationale on this website.

The first year and one half of this curriculum takes place in New York City, where you will join your 160 classmates in largely pre-clinical studies, complemented by special Columbia-Bassett sessions on either health delivery or the relation of emotional trauma to physical disease. The second phase, thirteen months, will be based in Cooperstown, where students’ clinical experiences at Bassett’s Cooperstown campus will consist of carefully mentored longitudinal care of your own panel of patients.  The third phase is a year and a half of electives and pursuit of an area of research drawn from the available full array of opportunities at both campuses. 

In Cooperstown:

  • You will participate in a humanistic patient care experience, in a longitudinal curricular approach, during which you follow patients for about a year.
  • You will work in an environment that emphasizes relationships on all levels.
  • These longitudinal relationships will not only facilitate your education, but provide an intimate view of the various subspecialists and their lives with patients, as you try to pick your own career path.
  • You will engage in a supportive process to determine which career path within medicine is most interesting to you and most suitable to your innate skills.
  • You will study the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. health system, and cultivate indispensable applied skills in improving health care quality at clinical and non-clinical levels.
  • You will experience health education in the best of two worlds - New York City’s Presbyterian Hospital and Cooperstown’s Bassett Healthcare. The contrasts of setting and patient population will merge for you in the single mission of learning to help people in their pursuit of health.
  • All Columbia-Bassett students receive merit-based financial aid independent of a financial needs assessment, in the amount of $30,000 per year, and also are assessed using Columbia's needs-based methodology for additional scholarship and loan funding, potentially freeing you to choose the career path you most like. 

I look forward to meeting you.

Henry Weil, M.D.
Senior Associate Dean for the Columbia-Bassett Program