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Columbia-Bassett Program

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Learn More About the Columbia-Bassett Program

The Columbia-Bassett program affords students a unique opportunity to gain in depth experience and training in healthcare systems and trauma responsive care. We also aim to support personal and professional growth in a meaningful way across the medical school experience.

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The Columbia-Bassett Program

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Letter from Katrina Armstrong, MD

Dear Applicants, 

The Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons has been proud to partner with Bassett Healthcare in rural upstate New York since 1947 to give our students a unique clinical experience. Generations of Columbia graduates have described their rotation in Cooperstown as among their best clinical experiences during medical school. Columbia and Bassett were proud to expand this experience by establishing the Columbia-Bassett Program, which welcomed its first class of 10 VP&S students in 2012 as they began their Major Clinical Year in Cooperstown. 

Cooperstown is a beautiful and exceptional village, and your time at Bassett Healthcare will expose you to an efficient health system and a longitudinal integrated curriculum that allows students to follow a panel of patients for a full year across specialties. A great clinical education always accompanies a Columbia diploma, but participants in the Columbia-Bassett Program also will have innovative experiences by learning about health delivery in an integrated hospital network. 

Your time in the Columbia-Bassett Program will not only enrich your medical school experience, it also will benefit your patients throughout your career. 

Katrina Armstrong, MD

Katrina Armstrong, MD
Chief Executive Officer, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences, Columbia University
Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
Harold and Margaret Hatch Professor in the Faculty of Medicine

Letter from Henry Weil, MD

Dear Applicants,

The Columbia-Bassett Medical School Program is unique in its design and consistently attracts some of the best medical students from around the country.

The first year and a half of the Columbia-Bassett curriculum takes place in New York City, where you will join your classmates in largely pre-clinical studies. The second phase, two and a half years, is based in Cooperstown, N.Y. Students’ clinical experiences at Bassett’s Cooperstown campus consist of a required one year experience followed by a year and a half of electives and pursuit of an area of concentration utilizing the 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. You will engage in a unique 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 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. You will receive financial aid independent of a financial needs assessment, in the amount of $30,000 per year, potentially freeing you to choose the career path you most like.

I look forward to meeting you.

Henry F. Weil, MD
Senior Vice President,
Chief Clinical & Academic Officer of Bassett Healthcare Network
President of Bassett Medical Center