Internal Medicine

Welcome From the Program Director
Edward F. Bischof, M.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine
College of Physicians and Surgeons,
Columbia University 

Welcome to the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York. Our program offers Internal Medicine training in:

  • A three year Columbia/Bassett Primary Care Residency, jointly sponsored by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University through Presbyterian Hospital
  • A traditional three year Categorical Internal Medicine Residency
  • A one year Preliminary Medicine Residency

The Internal Medicine Residency programs provide broad-based clinical experiences in an atmosphere of high academic standards and personalized training. Since Bassett's earliest history in the 1920s, educating physicians has been a central force in the organization's evolution. Bassett's mission has always included education, patient care and research. Our medical education programs unite a clear philosophy of internal medicine training with a diverse patient population, an outstanding faculty and house staff, and unsurpassed opportunities for residents to do research.

The goals of the institution are threefold:

  • To provide primary and tertiary health care services to a widely dispersed population
  • To provide residents and medical students with experiential, hands-on management of patients and exposure to medical issues covering the full spectrum of contemporary medical care in an inquisitive and supportive setting
  • To further expand medical knowledge through the internationally-recognized Bassett Research Institute

There are no private physicians at Bassett. Our entire faculty is full-time and salaried. Comprehensive patient care is achieved by a team of residents, students, and one attending physician. Residents are responsible for all aspects of the management of patient care.

As you visit our web pages, we hope you will receive a good introduction to our programs, Bassett Healthcare, and the community.



  • Columbia University Programs in a rural setting, with 3:1 resident-to-faculty ratio
  • Training within a model progressive Healthcare System, serving 12,000 square miles and providing 517,000 outpatient visits per year
  • Longstanding tradition of greater than 50 percent of time on outpatient rotations, which provides optimal preparation for future practice
  • The flexibility to tailor a curricula to satisfy individual needs
  • Shared elective opportunities with the Columbia/Presbyterian Internal Medicine program
  • Residents have the opportunity to participate in a research project. This is made possible by the E. Donnall Thomas program, which provides funds to support resident research. Residents work with a member of the senior attending staff to write a proposal and conduct the research. The resident is encouraged to present the findings at a national meeting, and then publish in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Up to $10,000 in debt assistance per year provided by Bassett Healthcare for those entering Primary Care.
  • A full-time, salaried faculty which is focused on patient care, teaching, and research
  • Longstanding affiliations with Columbia University, Albany, Rochester, UNECOM, LECOM, and NYCOM.
  • Residents undertake progressive autonomy and responsibility for patient care decision-making
  • Technical support services perform nearly all ancillary procedures which allows the resident to spend more time at the patients' bedside
  • Funded resident research program


Why choose Internal Medicine at Bassett?

Bassett Medical Center is a unique rural health delivery network, nationally recognized as a model of integrated healthcare. Bassett is a network of primary and specialty care providers dedicated to patient care, teaching and research at sites around the region. By integrating these endeavors, our approach to caring is comprehensive and progressive. The Bassett Division of General Medicine is a model system of primary care. Medical sub-specialists augment this primary care-based system by conveying state-of-the-art care in all of the medical subspecialties.

Patient Mix: Located at the base of Otsego Lake, one of New York's most beautiful lakes, Bassett is a tertiary care center providing care to a population of 432,000 in the eight county region and sees 517,000 visits annually. The catchment area served covers 12,000 square miles with twenty regional health centers within 100 miles of Cooperstown. We provide care to people from every walk of life and occupation, from rural to suburban to small urban.

Flexibility: By providing residents with a broad-based experience in both general and subspecialty internal medicine delivered in a rural setting, Bassett offers a unique opportunity for residency training that is sufficiently flexible to meet the future challenges of healthcare delivery. Elective opportunities are available through Bassett at the Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in NYC, which offers medical training in an urban environment for those that are interested.

Teaching: Our teaching system is built upon a Columbia-appointed faculty that is 100% salaried and fulltime. There are no competing priorities of running a private practice. Exposure to a broad cross-section of medical problems is only the first component of a fine training program. At Bassett, we have evolved an ideal system for teaching medical students and residents.

Assimilation of a methodologic approach to medical problems is the unifying emphasis. While styles vary, the common goal is to be skilled in the care of problems seen during training and prepared for problems that are rare or unusual in presentation. The blend of inpatient, continuity clinic and outpatient subspecialty rotations create a comprehensive educational experience.

A written curriculum defines goals and methods of every rotation. A diverse curriculum in occupational, geriatric, and biopsychosocial medicine is emphasized.

Columbia/Bassett Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency Program
NRMP# 1442140M0
Positions available: 3

Recognizing that the primary care physician will be the axis of our healthcare system for the foreseeable future, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University has created a Primary Care Program based at Bassett Healthcare. The primary care resident focuses on development of general medical skills in the general medicine/subspecialty clinics, in non-internal medicine outpatient experiences, on the medical ward and in the intensive care unit. Teaching is facilitated by our dedicated full-time faculty, which provides a 3:1 ratio faculty-to-resident ratio. Residents in the Columbia/Bassett Primary Care Internal Medicine Program work closely with residents in the Bassett Categorical Internal Medicine Program.

Physicians completing either program achieve eligibility for certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Our board pass rate for 2000 is 100% and over the past three years is 96%.

Medical Students: Residents in the primary care program frequently supervise third and fourth year students participating in required rotations under our medical school affiliation with Columbia University, Albany Medical College and Rochester University.

Categorical Internal Medicine Residency Program
NRMP# 1442140C0
Positions available: 7

The Bassett Internal Medicine Program offers traditional training in academic internal medicine. The emphasis is placed on skills of the internist preparing to practice in an integrated system of medical and surgical specialists and subspecialists, or planning to proceed with subspecialty training. Compared to the Columbia/Bassett Primary Care Program, a greater proportion of the resident's time is spent on the medical wards, and the remainder is in the emergency room, on medical subspecialty clinic rotations and in the campus-based continuity clinic. In addition, during elective time, residents may engage in away rotations or in research in the E. Donnall Thomas Resident Research Program.

It should be emphasized that the core experiences of the two internal medicine residency tracks are very similar.

Satisfactory completion of the program confers eligibility for certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Our board pass rate for 2000 was 100% and over the past three years is 96%.

Medical Students: Residents in the Internal Medicine Program frequently supervise third and fourth year students participating in required rotations under our medical school affiliation with Columbia University, Albany Medical College and Rochester University.


Preliminary Internal Medicine Residency Program
NRMP# 1442140P0
Positions available: 4

The Preliminary Internal Medicine Program year is identical to the PGY-1 year of the Bassett Categorical Internal Medicine Program, with the exclusion of continuity clinics. It is designed to provide grounding in the basic principles for those entering residency in another field after the one year. Occasionally, residents apply to one of the three-year program tracks on completion of the preliminary year. Residents may become eligible for participation in the E. Donnall Thomas Resident Research Program and Primary Care Debt Reduction Program if accepted and pursuing an appropriate career path.

Primary Care Debt Reduction Program
To promote careers in Primary Care, Bassett offers financial assistance to those residents who demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Primary Care Debt Reduction Committee a commitment to developing a career in Primary Care Medicine. This includes all residents in the Columbia/Bassett residency track not electing future subspecialty training. Residents in the Categorical Internal Medicine Program may be eligible for inclusion to this program. This benefit is subject to the judgement and satisfaction of requirements set forth by the program committee.

This program is designed to reduce the debt principal of the participating resident on medical education in the United States. Our intent is to enable selection of a career in Primary Care unencumbered by massive debt, as has been expressed by the Federal and New York State government as societal need.

The payment is capped at $10,000 per year for residents having debt in excess of $30,000; and awards are graduated downward for residents with lesser debt.

Upon satisfactory completion of each clinical year, payments are made directly to the resident to be applied to the debt principal. Payments constitute taxable income. Due to the unique structure of each resident's debt, applicants are urged to make specific inquiries prior to commitment through the match.

In addition, as a designated primary care program of New York State, we have "up-weighted" status and residents are eligible for the New York State debt reduction program as well.

Primary Care residents are encouraged to participate in the E. Donnall Thomas Resident Research Program. This program is designed to facilitate projects both for the novice and the experienced clinical investigator. The facilities of the Bassett Research Institute are available for pursuit of a broad range of opportunities. Residents create their own projects or choose from a list of ongoing faculty projects, with topics that include epidemiology, clinical studies, basic science, outcomes research, public health and health policy.