Medical Care

Cornell Health is the primary provider of medical services for all enrolled students on Cornell’s Ithaca campus. [see Who We Serve]

Our Medical staff – including physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, diagnostic technicians, and others – support the health and well-being of students using a patient-centered, team-based, community-aligned primary care model.

Students commonly come to see us for:

[See all Services]

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How to get care

Appointments

Medical appointments can be made online by logging in to myCornellHealth. (Travel Clinic appointments are the only exception and must be made by phone.) Our online booking system is designed to help you find the right appointment to fit your needs. During business hours, you may also stop by, or call 607-255-5155 and press 3 to speak with an appointment scheduler. [see Appointments]

We strive to facilitate a continuous relationship between you and your Primary Care Provider (PCP), and will recommend appointments to you with your PCP first – whether you call us, walk in, or access our online system. If you can’t find an appointment with your Primary Care Provider that fits your needs, another member of your medical team will be available to provide care.

Appointment types

We have different types of appointments to correspond with the urgency of our patients’ needs:

  • Urgent appointments – for medical issues which require immediate care
  • Same-day appointments – for medical issues that require attention within 24 hours
  • Routine appointments – for medical issues that are not immediate or urgent (our availability for routine appointment averages between 3 and 5 days, depending on the time of year)

Your medical team

Our Medical staff work together to support your health and well-being. We organize our services to ensure that all students have access to the members of our team who can help them stay healthy and thrive at Cornell.

Each student is assigned a Primary Care Provider (PCP) – a physician (MD or DO), nurse practitioner (NP), or physician assistant (PA) who will oversee your medical care at Cornell Health. When you need an appointment with a medical clinician, we recommend scheduling with your PCP whenever possible.

PCPs are part of medical teams located on Level 3, Level 5, and Level 7. Your medical team is determined by where your PCP is located. Team members – including nursing staff, behavioral health consultants, nutritionists, and clinical administrative staff – work together with the PCPs to support patient care. When appropriate, medical team members also collaborate with Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) staff, who are co-located on Levels 3, 5, and 7.   

The Specialty Services team, located on Level 4, is responsible for triage, immunizations, allergy services, and Travel Clinic services. These nursing and administrative professionals can help you determine the first steps to take in a medical situation, discern the right appointment or professional who can help you, and can meet specialty needs for allergy and travel services.

Our Lab & X-Ray staff, located on Level 2, also support the work of our Medical staff members.

Collaboration among Cornell Health providers

We recognize that people’s needs are integrated in body, mind and spirit. We collaborate with our colleagues – within and beyond Cornell Health – to meet each person where they are, and ensure that each person has access to the care that is right for them.

Our new facility was designed to promote inter-professional collaboration through co-location of office and exam room space with administrative, nursing, medical and mental health professionals.

For example, if an emotional concern or mental health issue arises for a student who is a medical patient, we are able to work with our counseling staff to facilitate further support. Similarly, mental health concerns sometimes result from or give rise to physical symptoms, and our Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) staff members collaborate with medical providers to help students get the full range of care they need. Physical therapists also are important partners in providing care for whole persons.

Cornell Health staff coordinate care through the confidential electronic health record (EHR) system, which enables those involved in providing care for an individual to have an appropriate knowledge, as needed, of that person’s current issues, laboratory and radiology results, prescriptions, and health records.

Through the design of our systems and processes, we strive to create a culture of accessibility, equity, partnership, and quality – all to promote a personal connection between each individual and their care providers at Cornell Health.

Our philosophy of care

The Medical staff at Cornell Health strives to provide individually-focused care that is accessible for all members of our diverse community. We actively work to decrease barriers to seeking and receiving care and strive toward a practice that is founded upon social justice and equity.

Our philosophy:

  • We believe in making Cornell a healthy community by caring for each individual within it.
  • We care for any person with any problem and welcome all members of our diverse community to our team and services.
  • We use a primary care model for medical services, where we value the relationship a person has with a single healthcare clinician, and the team working with that clinician and patient.
  • We welcome our patients as partners in their own healthcare and depend on their active participation to enhance their health and wellness.
  • We offer services with a multi-disciplinary team of professionals, encouraging each team member to utilize their professional skills and personal compassion to care for an individual’s needs.  We aspire to provide care as a Patient Centered Medical Home, which is a model of primary care tailored to the urgent and long-term needs of each person.
  • We utilize a team approach to understand each person within the context of the Cornell community, seeking to understand how the health of each person impacts the campus and how the campus impacts each person.
  • We strive to care for each patient holistically as part of a highly integrated organization which supports the health of the whole person and the larger community in which they live, study, and work.

To accomplish this philosophy:

  • We believe that our roles are to enhance the health of our patients so that they can learn, teach, engage and thrive at Cornell and beyond.
  • We care about the individual experience of each patient and approach each conversation we have with compassion and understanding.
  • We use the most current scientific and medical evidence to guide our clinical practices.
  • We seek to continuously improve our services and invite feedback about how we can better meet our staff and patients’ goals.
  • We value a team approach to solving problems and believe that the success of our primary care model depends on the many professionals that make up our staff.
  • We believe that each team member plays a vital role in educating patients about their health and the healthcare system.
  • We empower each member of our team to ask for help when they need it.
  • We graciously help each other when asked.
  • We believe in supporting staff in their work and life responsibilities, to make Cornell Health an enjoyable and collegial place to work.

Our commitment to quality

The Medical staff at Cornell Health employs frequent testing and measurement to evaluate daily system performance, clinical processes, outcomes, and costs, and continually consider improvements to increase quality and value. Metrics are developed using industry standards along with meaningful areas of system performance and clinical focus, considering the evolving needs of a college health population and our campus community.

We contribute to the vision of Cornell Health by providing respectful, compassionate, accessible, equitable, affordable, and safe medical care to individual patients, advance the health of the population through our preventive programs and engagement with our community, and contribute to the control of healthcare costs by utilizing current evidence-based standards with efficient team-based systems and processes. These approaches facilitate the readiness of all people to learn, engage with, and contribute to the Cornell community.