Engage with a diverse group of partners to improve the health of the broader community.

To truly improve lives, UCLA faculty, researchers and students must leave the confines of the campus and connect directly with people in their communities. The goal of the community engagement initiative is to engage with a diverse group of partners to improve the health of the broader community. Today, community engagement is, with teaching, patient care, and research, among the core missions of UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM) at UCLA.

Video Greetings from the Community and Service Organizations

Active Organizations

Explore Groups that Match Your Interests 

  • Student Coordinators: Emily Hansen, Janice Kim, Rashna Soonavala
  • Student Advisors: Vidhi Singh, Joanna Curry 
  • Faculty Advisor: Elena Stark, MD, PhD

Anatomy Academy is a student-run organization with a commitment to improving the health education of children living in the Westwood Salvation Army housing facility and other local underserved communities. The primary focus of Anatomy Academy is to establish visits to teach youth at the Westwood Salvation Army housing facility and to create other opportunities for medical students to interact with other school-aged children. The purpose is to provide relatable, fun, and medically-related educational experiences for children. We hope to promote an understanding of health and interest in science and medicine among children from various backgrounds. Members of the group collaborate with each other and faculty to engineer relevant, interesting, and interactive lessons for children of varying ages. 

The Arab Health Organization is an inclusive space for students, residents, and faculty. The organization is intended to foster an Arab healthcare community, to establish networking opportunities, and to engage in community outreach.

  • Student Coordinators: Santi Bhattarai-Kline
  • Student Advisor: Tira Oskoui, Nicholas Hamilton 
  • Faculty Advisors: Clarence Braddock, MD, Ashley Feinsinger, MD, PhD

The DGSOM Bioethics group is a student-led interest group committed to providing students with a unique forum to learn about and discuss ethical issues as they pertain to human health, biomedical research, and clinical healthcare practices. Our goals are to stimulate discussion of potential ethical issues that students may encounter in their careers and to equip students with several basic strategies to think through ethical dilemmas within a structured, rational framework. As a secondary objective, we aim to advocate for the greater incorporation of medical ethics into the DGSOM curriculum. These objectives are accomplished through student-led meetings, inviting guest speakers to discuss actual cases, and working with the DGSOM administration on curriculum reform projects. A student-led medical ethics panel provides additional opportunities for students to discuss actual cases brought forth by members of the Ronald Reagan Medical Ethics Committee, and to reinforce the knowledge gained from their interest in bioethics.

  • Student Coordinators: De’Larrian Knight, Brandon Williams, Derrick Okine, Camille Simo, Samuel Edwards, Akieve Burrows, Ramel Brooks
  • Faculty Advisor: Keith Norris, MD

Black Men In White Coats seeks to increase the Number of black men in the field of medicine by exposure, inspiration, and mentoring. To accomplish this, we are partnering with various medical schools across the country to bring awareness to this issue that not only affects the black male population, but also the nation as a whole. To increase awareness of minority students in the field of medicine by recruiting, advising, and providing guidance To establish, maintain, and promote healthy cohesive communications between students, faculty, and health professionals To increase knowledge of health information amongst members and the general public To increase networking opportunities amongst members through community health opportunities and mentoring To create a healthy and supportive social environment for black men at DGSOM To periodically review the constitution and institutional values and reevaluate them in accordance to the needs of the organization To willingly abide by all DGSOM policies and guidelines relating to on and off campus activities which our club may sponsor or in which we may participate.

  • Student Coordinators: Hannah Lee, Matthew Yan
  • Faculty Advisors: Jason E. Bahk, MD, Bret Dolezal, MD

Our mission is to educate DGSOM students about the impact of strength/resistance training on health and medicine.

  • Student Coordinators: Haidee Chen, Kandace Fung, Christine Lam, Kathleen Trinh
  • Student Advisors: Cindy Liu, Karissa Wang
  • Faculty Advisor: Ka-Kit Hui, MD

The Chinese Medical Interest Group (CMIG) is focused on addressing a critical need in the medical education of DGSOM students: effectively communicating and connecting with Chinese-speaking populations. Los Angeles is home to one of the largest populations of Mandarin-speaking patients in the United States, yet despite this, UCLA DGSOM does not have any formal opportunities to train future health professionals in medical Chinese.

By fulfilling this need, CMIG provides all UCLA medical students with:

  • Opportunities to develop important skills that will apply to any specialty, as they will likely have ethnic Chinese patients in the future
  • Opportunities to learn about the health disparities that disproportionately affect this population

The main avenues to achieve our objectives: 

  • Develop our communication skills with ethnic Chinese patients by learning how to speak native languages in an effective and culturally-appropriate manner
  • Explore unique aspects of Chinese culture and perceptions, focusing on their influence on health and how this differs from Western culture
  • Learn how to approach patients in a manner not taught in the classical curriculum at DGSOM through understanding the patients’ cultural backgrounds
  • Connect medical students with immersive opportunities to learn and practice their Chinese communication skills

Student Coordinators: Antony Alvardo, Abigail Rieder, Ryan Han 

Our Mission Statement

The Christian Medical and Dental Association at UCLA aims to encourage and equip future physicians and dentists with the heart of Jesus and the wisdom of knowing the Lord so that they may be faithful witnesses and healers.

We are a diverse group of health professional students with a common love for Jesus Christ. Our regular gatherings include weekly noon fellowship, Bible study, campus-wide quarterly bioethics symposia, prayer and devotionals with faculty, guest speakers, and serving at the Los Angeles Christian Health Center in downtown LA.

All are welcome, including non-Christians who would like to learn more about Jesus Christ and those seeking opportunties to provide care for the underserved in Los Angeles. 

Learn more about CMDA

  • On hiatus from 2023
  • Student Coordinators: Sarah Larson, Emma Ruskin
  • Student Advisors: Matthew Hing, Samuel Lewis
  • Faculty Advisors: David Eisenman, MD, James Evans (UCLA Sustainability Manager)

Climate Providers is an organization of medical students who recognize that the climate emergency presents an impending public health catastrophe for our communities in LA and beyond— a catastrophe that will fall along existing gradients of racial inequity and structural violence. We seek to:

  • Raise awareness of the health impacts of climate change
  • Hold the healthcare industry accountable for its environmental impact, and work to reduce healthcare's contributions to the climate crisis
  • Build a community of future healthcare providers committed to tackling the planetary health crisis, using the profession's credibility and prominence to advocate for the health of individuals and climate alike.

The organization will seek to achieve its goals through educational programming, advocacy efforts, and career exploration opportunities.

  • Student Coordinators: Hayoung Ahn, Wesley Armstrong, Audrey Chung
  • Upperclassman Advisors: Humza Zubair
  • Faculty Advisors: Dr. Chandra Smart, MD 

Climbers at DGSOM plan to unite medical students of all years to build community both inside and outside the climbing gym.

  • Student Coordinators: Shannon Richardson, Emma Ruskin, Grace Yi
  • Student Advisors: Marie Luff, Lauren Taiclet
  • Faculty Advisors: Ka-Kit Hui, MD, Sheila Naghshineh, MD

The mission of the Community Healing through Art Medicine Program (CHAMP) at DGSOM is to amplify the innate social-emotional and therapeutic benefits of the arts for healing and wellness through immersive volunteering and educational events. In collaboration with community partners, students will be exposed to the therapeutic potential of art medicine in multiple dimensions: visual art, dance and movement, poetry, music, as well as verbal and nonverbal communication, managing special needs, traumatic responses, and self-care. 

CHAMP will empower students to advocate for access to high-quality resources in arts and healing, which will benefit our surrounding communities as well as organizational and individual healthcare providers. Students will have the unique opportunity to volunteer time in community clinical settings to interact with patients using art activities. The patient experience will become one of reflection, meaningful dialogue, increased empathy, connection, and reduction of emotional distress for all parties involved. In addition, we aim to educate our medical students and the community at large about the physical and emotional benefits of art through interactive seminars, volunteering opportunities, and partnerships with our community.

The goals of CHAMP are to:

  • Educate students regarding art medicine as an accessible, nonverbal, and universal strategy for improving individual and community health through stress reduction and social support—without any stigma of therapy.
  • Maximize the social-emotional benefits of the arts by focusing on the process of creative expression to build meaning, empathy, and community.
  • Offer an evidence-based and effective means of addressing the increasing societal healthcare burden from chronic diseases rooted in emotions and behavior.
  • Offer a humanizing complement to increasingly technological medical care, that can enhance the patient experience and the environments in which healthcare is delivered.
  • Advocate for an established role for the arts in healthcare by validating their healing benefits and exposing our students, patients, and the community to their transformative value through insights gained from process-oriented activities.
  • Student Coordinators: Martin Ramirez, CeeCee Cascavita, Melissa Lopez
  • Upperclassmen Advisors: Leilani Gutierrez-Palominos
  • Faculty Advisors: Dawn Ward, MD

With a team of medical students, we seek to organize and publicize blood drives at DGSOM and create a long-lasting partnership between the DGSOM students and the UCLA blood donation center.

On Hiatus from 2023

  • Student Coordinators: Halee Yue, Corinne Negvesky, Ryan Tiu 
  • Student Advisor: Pooja Bisarya, Ursula Biba
  • Faculty Advisor: Rashmi S. Muller, MD

Our mission is to connect all members of the DGSOM family through mindfulness and meditation.

  • We hope to educate each other about different meditation and mindfulness practices and also serve as an entry point for beginners looking to start.
  • We want to be an outlet for members of DGSOM to de-stress and hone their meditation practice.
  • Meditation has many benefits that are being researched, and it has been incorporated as an important part of multidisciplinary care in fields such as psychiatry, palliative medicine, hospice, and oncology. We hope that educating our classmates about the practice will better equip them to converse with and provide recommendations to future patients.
  • Student Coordinators: Hannah Lee, Matthew Yan, Kathley LeTran, Nadir Noor Adra
  • Student Advisors: Harika Kottakota, Emma Ruskin, Charlotte Poplawski
  • Faculty Advisor: Alice Kuo, MD

The mission of DCI is to foster a community of individuals with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses, as well as their allies, in order to promote justice, diversity, and inclusion. DCI is focused on five primary goals to enhance advocacy and accessibility:

  • Community for trainees and faculty with disability and chronic illness
  • Accessibility of resources and campus
  • EDI and Representation
  • Admissions & Curriculum Inclusion
  • Quality & Inclusive Patient Care
  • Student Coordinators:  Van Nguyen
  • Student Advisors: Emilio Rodriguez, Leslie Ojeaburu, Fahim Mahmud, Jorge Sifuentes,
  • Faculty Advisors: Shaheen Harandi, MD, Niloufar Tehrani, MD

DREAM is an education advocacy project that seeks to bring resources to high school students in Los Angeles communities. The mission of this organization is to empower students who are under-resourced to pursue a demanding career via a longitudinal mentorship program with annual programming and cohort. Our three main goals:

  • Provide individual mentorship via mentor-mentee pairings
  • Provide group mentorship via themed group sessions run primarily by physicians, focused on interactive discussions, skills building, and career exploration
  • Build community via group activities and resource sharing
  • Student Coordinators: Ursula Biba, Rebbecca Brena, Erica Escalera, Larissa Nicolas, Othneil Sparks
  • Student Advisors: Kendra Arriaga-Castellanos, Monica Le, Sam Lee, Ava Mousavi
  • Faculty Advisors: Alejandra Casillas, MD, Margarita Loeza, MD

First Gen is an extension of the larger UCLA-wide First To Go! Initiative to highlight the first-generation experience in higher education. In this group, first gen medical students are those who are the first in their families to attend college. Students who identify as "First Gen" will be able to connect to other DGSOM students, residents, fellows, faculty, and alumni who are proudly First Gen themselves.

  • We envision mentorship and tailored resources that focus on student, resident, and faculty well-being and self-preservation (from the medical school years to beyond), through the First-Gen lens.
  • We will connect to First Gen resources/workshops at the UCLA university level (the established UCLA First To Go! Initiative), including but not limited to:
    • mentorship (if interested) between First Gen medical students and First-Gen UCLA college pre-medical students.
    • networking between First-Gen graduate chapters (e.g. UCLA Anderson School of Management, UCLA Law, First-Generation Graduate Student Council at UCLA).
    • advocacy of First Gen concerns and issues at bimonthly UCLA First Gen Advisory Board meetings.
  • We seek to connect, empower, and celebrate the First Gen community in medicine.
  • Student Coordinators: Melodyanne Cheng, Gerardo Arteaga
  • Student Advisors: Fiona Obiezu
  • Faculty Advisors: Lisa Bolden, SLP and Justine Lee, MD

Gender-affirming care for transgender/genderdiverse individuals is a journey. Across the spectrum of medical and surgical care exists many options thathelp to address gender dysphoria in these individuals. This interest group serves to create a space specifically focused on the broad spectrum ofspecialty and subspecialty roles that collectively work to provide important treatments, procedures, surgical options, therapy, and medical care for ourtransgender/genderdiverse patient population along various paths in their journey to gender affirmation. For students interested and committed toproviding gender-affirming care as a future physician, this club seeks to highlight the many different specialties that play a unique role in providingessential gender-affirming care along the way, from gender-affirming therapy (psychiatry), to behavioral voice-modulating therapy (SLP within ENT),voice surgeons (ENT), craniofacial/chest surgery (plastics), bottom surgery (urology), hormonal therapy (endocrine), hair transplants (dermatology),primary care and much more.

On hiatus from 2023

  • Student Coordinators:  Allison Brimacombe, Amani Carson
  • Student Advisors: Savannah Starr
  • Faculty Advisors: David Kulber, MD, Andrew Vardanian, MD

Our Vision: Sustainable and accessible surgical care worldwide.

Our Mission: To educate, inspire, and unite students through engagement and mentorship in global surgery.

Our Goals:

  • Create awareness about and to advocate for global surgery
  • Educate students about global surgery and sustainable interventions
  • Connect students who are interested in global surgery across the country and world
  • Facilitate communication and mentorship between students and current global surgeons
  • Foster the development of the next generation of global surgeons, OB/Gyns, and anesthesiologists
  • Student Coordinator: Jonah Im
  • Student Advisor: Jared Taitt
  • Faculty Advisors: Michelle L. Harvey, MD

Our Mission:

The Healthy Hands Initiative (HHI) 501(c)(3) is dedicated to addressing the critical issue of clean water scarcity in resource-poor rural communities, particularly in regions of India and Africa. I was inspired to start HHI after studying the clean water shortage in India during my freshman year at UNC-Chapel Hill. It was sobering to learn how women trek several miles every day for parasite-infested water, trapping their communities in disease. I dedicated myself to reducing a critical health barrier for these families. • Impact: Over the past five years, HHI’s chapters at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University have made significant strides in providing sustainable clean water solutions. Through the installation and maintenance of six water hand pumps, we facilitated 24/7 access to clean drinking water for over 2,000 men, women, and children within the six villages served. By mitigating the need for arduous treks for parasite-infested water sources, HHI has not only sought to improve health outcomes but also empower communities to thrive. • Expansion: Recognizing the pressing need for expanded clean water initiatives, I aim to establish an HHI chapter at DGSOM to leverage our wide network of university resources and diverse personnel. • Goals at DGSOM: • Collaboration and Implementation: Collaborate with UCLA’s global health partnerships to implement hand pumps and complementary clean water tools (e.g., storage containers, filtration systems) in HHI’s target areas and other feasible regions. By engaging with HHI’s existing international networks and local stakeholders, I aim to further develop additional hand pump projects grounded in sustainability. • Research and Evaluation: Initiate a longitudinal research initiative to assess the multifaceted impact of HHI’s interventions. Beyond evaluating physical health outcomes, our research will delve into the domains of quality of life, psychological well-being, and community dynamics, providing valuable insights for future interventions and policy advocacy. • Student Engagement: Facilitate travel opportunities for HHI DGSOM students to actively participate in the implementation of hand pump projects, engage directly with community members to understand their needs and aspirations, and contribute to fieldwork research endeavors. Through hands-on experiences, I believe students can develop a nuanced understanding of global health challenges and cultivate essential leadership and advocacy skills. • Leadership and Advocacy Skills Development: • Upholding cultural humility remains central to our approach, emphasizing the importance of actively listening to and collaborating with community members to co-create solutions that resonate with their cultural norms and values. By prioritizing community engagement and empowerment, I aim to foster sustainable partnerships that allow our team to support their health over decades. • Collaboration across diverse fields, including public health, environmental science, and cultural anthropology, enriches our collective understanding of complex global health issues. Through interdisciplinary collaboration, HHI at DGSOM will strive to develop innovative and culturally relevant solutions that address the foundations of water insecurity. • Sharing opportunities for learning and growth with peers fosters a supportive and inclusive community committed to advancing global health equity. By nurturing a culture of mentorship and knowledge exchange, we empower future generations of healthcare professionals to become compassionate advocates for water-insecure communities. • Contribution to DGSOM: As a Community Service Organization, HHI offers DGSOM students a unique platform to engage in meaningful global health advocacy and service-learning experiences. By aligning with DGSOM’s values of social responsibility and excellence in healthcare, I believe that HHI’s work complements existing student initiatives while addressing critical gaps in global health outreach.

  • Student Coordinator: Eliana Jokolvsky, Eric Smith, Addee Lerner
  • Student Advisor: Noy Kaufman
  • Faculty Advisor: Gary Schiller, MD

The Jewish Medical Student Association (JMSA) supports Jewish life for medical students at UCLA and promotes the study of the Jewish tradition and its contributions to the field of medicine. In addition, JMSA serves to fight antisemitism while practicing allyship to the Jewish community.

  • Student Coordinator: Jose Segura-Bermudez
  • Student Advisor: Alejandra Lopez Macha, Faustino Gonzalez Barrales
  • Faculty Advisor: Juan Andino, MD, MBA,  Andrew Vivas MD

Promote inclusivity and diversity within the surgical field by organizing events celebrating the achievements of Latino surgeons and showcasing the
contributions of underrepresented minorities in surgery. ●Connect medical students with Latino surgeons for guidance and career advice. ●Organize
surgical shadowing opportunities, workshops, and networking events to expose students to various surgical specialties. ●Host panel discussions and
guest lectures on surgical topics relevant to the Latino population, addressing disparities, cultural competence, and community health. ●Encourage
active membership in national surgical organizations to connect students with a broader network of physicians and resources. ●Facilitate leadership,
education, and achievement for Latino students wanting to pursue a surgical specialty.

  • Student Coordinators: Julia Sun, Jason Guo
  • Student Advisors: Yasaman Salahmand, Ahaana Singh
  • Faculty Advisors: Cecily Gallup, MD, Sural Shah, MD

The Los Angeles Human Rights Initiative (LAHRI) is a group of medical students, residents, and volunteer clinicians dedicated to:

  • Providing pro-bono forensic medical and mental health evaluations to survivors of persecution seeking asylum in the United States.
  • Raising awareness regarding issues affecting the physical and mental health of local refugee and immigrant communities.
  • Expanding UCLA’s footprint in the arenas of research, policy, and advocacy related to refugee and immigrant health.

Learn more about the Los Angeles Human Rights Initiative 

  • On hiatus from 2023
  • Student Coordinators: Nadir Adra, Nicole Johnsen 
  • Student Advisors: Corinne Allas, Ayesha Ng
  • Faculty Advisor: Jason Napolitano, MD

MDivas aims to provide a creative outlet for medical students that not only promotes a safe space for all dance levels but also promotes both students’ well-being and a sense of community across all years of medical training. Our goal is to challenge our dancers to learn different styles of dance including Bhangra and various styles of urban choreography, which include K-pop, Hip-Hop, Jazz Funk, and Lyrical choreography.

  • President: Julia Gensheimer
  • Student Advisors: Ryan Shih, Brandon Tsai, Amulya Vadlakonda
  • Faculty Advisor: Esteban Dell'Angelica, PhD

Med Mentors at UCLA is a group of DGSOM students that provide free advising and resources to premed students at UCLA and beyond. We host med student and physician panels, provide 1-on-1 advising and essay review, conduct clinical skills workshops, and generate premed resources. Everything is free and open to all.

Med Mentors gives DGSOM students of all years the opportunity to share their stories and premed advice with others. Helping premed students is highly rewarding, and it helps DGSOM students develop necessary mentorship, communication, and leadership skills.

  • President: Yuexuan Chen, Catherine Beaudin, Nicholas Finger
  • Student Advisors: Jenna Dovydaitis, Myriam Shehata
  • Faculty Advisor: Sarah Shoenbrun, MD

The goal of Media and Medicine is to educate and encourage our DGSOM community to be active and effective in news and other forms of media. We will host a panel with physician journalists and media experts, educating medical students and physicians on how they can best interact with the media, how news journalists and journalistic ethics work, how to write news pieces as a tool for advocacy, and how to build trust between medical communities and communities
through the media. We will create writing sessions and build partnerships with media organizations for students to publish articles in - another goal is to form an internship program for discovery year.

  • On hiatus from 2023
  • Student Coordinators: Pooja (Nikki) Bisarya, Abhinav Suri
  • Student Advisors: Persiana Saffari
  • Faculty Advisor: Douglas Bell, MD

The mission of Medical Education in Data and Technology (MedTech) is to equip DGSOM medical students with a practical and accessible education in the fundamentals of data science, coding, and engineering. After discovering the desire students have for acquiring technical skills, our team recognized the need for providing future physicians with an analytical skillset that allows them to remain at the cusp of innovative research and technology development throughout their careers. As a student organization at DGSOM, we aim to:

  • Equip students with the necessary technical and analytical skills for medical research and innovation.
  • Host workshops and accelerated courses to teach students how to code, design devices, and perform statistical operations.
  • Connect students with opportunities and classes hosted by the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)Biostatistics and Informatics Programs, the Institute for Quantitative and Computational Biosciences, and other related programs across the medical school and UCLA.
  • Invite researchers and clinicians performing technical research to share their work and career path with medical students.
  • Student Coordinators: Catherine Beaudin, Nhuan Vu
  • Student Advisor: Cecilia Wada
  • Faculty Advisor: Alejandra Casillas, MD

The mission of the French Medical Interest Group is to promote the development of medical French skills while also delving into fascinating discussions about health challenges within French-speaking communities in the United States and beyond. Our vision is for the French Medical Interest Group to be open to all interested medical students, French-speakers and Francophiles of all levels, from beginner to native proficiency. Some of the activities we envision organizing as leaders of this organization include: Language Practice Sessions: Holding regular meetings to practice speaking,listening, and reading medical French in a supportive environment. If there is a discrepancy in the prior knowledge or French literacy of our members, we will adapt to their different levels to ensure that these sessions are beneficial for everyone. 

Engaging Medical Discussions: Diving into thought-provoking discussions on medical research, case studies, and the latest advancements in medicine that are related to or somehow affect French-speaking communities in the United States and abroad. Interactive Workshops: Inviting and learning from guest speakers and experts as they present different medical topics. 

Engaging Language Games and Quizzes: Testing and expanding our medical vocabulary in French and English through interactive game
nights and quizzes, including but not limited to Kahoot! Movie Nights: Screening and enjoying French-language medical movies, followed by enriching
discussions amongst attendees. As student leaders, another part of our motivation for starting this organization is that we hope to stay in touch with our
French heritage as medical students, and we hope to share our love for this language and culture with our peers. We also know that knowing medical
French can be extremely helpful and important, particularly in global health efforts with organizations like the WHO, United Nations, and Doctors Without
Borders. We firmly believe that expanding knowledge and exposure to medical French within the DGSOM community will help us become more global
doctors as the French language is significantly spoken in at least five continents, most notably in Europe and Africa.

  • Student Coordinators: Victoria Arechiga, Vincent Cavallino, Jakeline Larios
  • Student Advisors: Sahar Ashrafzadeh, Martina Cavallini, Mauranda Men
  • Faculty Advisor: Michelle Aguilar, MD

MSIG’s mission is to promote the importance of linguistic and cultural competency in medical education and in clinical practice. Given the large body of Spanish-speaking patients that we serve in the LA County and across the nation, MSIG believes it is essential for medical students to develop both their linguistic and cultural skills in order to provide optimal care for our Spanish-speaking patients. MSIG strives for its members to increase their fluency in medical Spanish and their understanding of Latino culture in order to reduce healthcare disparities created by cultural and linguistic barriers.

Our organization fulfills our mission statement by way of accomplishing our overarching goals:

  • Increase understanding of the impact that linguistic and cultural barriers have on the quality of healthcare.
  • Empower medical students to enhance their medical Spanish vocabulary in order to provide high-quality and culturally sensitive care to Spanish-speaking patients.
  • Encourage engagement with the Latino culture in order to increase cultural sensitivity and understanding of the Latino patient experience.
  • Student Coordinators: Preeti Kakani, Yashaar Hafizka, Antonio Moreno
  • Student Advisors: Vishnu Murthy, Bryan Vuong
  • Faculty Advisor: Sun Mi Yoo, MD

The Medical Student Healthcare Education and Discussion Interest Group (MedHEAD) seeks to create a space for students to learn foundational knowledge about Healthcare Systems, Policy, and Economics that will help us become better clinicians in the future. As clinicians, we can only do as much good as our system allows, and knowledge of healthcare and its parts will allow us to better utilize resources and advocate for changes to improve healthcare for all.

As a leadership, we feel that there is a lack of basic Healthcare Systems information in our main curriculum, so we want to supplement our learning with student-led lectures, discussion, and supplemental resources in the form of e-mail newsletters. Ideally, the information we learn in the interest group can eventually be integrated into our main curriculum. While the information on health policy is available at DGSOM through an MPH dual degree or the Healthcare selective, many students simply do not have the time or ability to take these routes. This interest group seeks to significantly lower the barrier to seeking basic knowledge on our healthcare system.

  • Student Coordinators: Annika Anderson, Alexandra Thompson, Jessica Tsang, Jane Phan
  • Student Advisors: Mary Lee, Ava Mousavi, Lara Tang
  • Faculty Advisor: Angela Chen, MD

Medical Students for Choice is a national organization that works to destigmatize abortion provision among medical students and residents, and advocates for medical schools and residencies to include abortion training as part of their reproductive health curriculum. As the DGSOM chapter, our mission is to promote these goals at a local level, to educate students about abortion and other critical family-planning practices, and to empower our medical students to advocate for reproductive rights and choice on a local and national level. No matter which specialty a medical student chooses, they will have patients that become pregnant and must make a decision about the pregnancy. Being well-educated about these options, including abortion, will give students the power to provide the best possible care, both during school and in their future careers. In addition, trained abortion providers are essential to promoting reproductive rights, as they allow women to safely and legally access abortion if they choose. Teaching medical students about abortion policies and procedures during their training will ensure that everyone is well equipped to educate their patients on all of their reproductive options.

Oh hiatus from 2023

  • Student Co-Coordinators:  
  • Student Committee Members: Elijah Bingham, Durga Ghosh
  • Student Advisor: Matt Daly
  • Faculty Advisor: Anne Meyer, MD

DGSOM at UCLA benefits from its unique proximity to some of the world's best surfing locations and access to a cherished cultural component of the West Coast. The opportunity to enjoy this privilege, while seemingly obvious, is often hindered by steep learning curves, lack of support, and the financially prohibitive nature of transport and access to gear. Given our geographic location, MedSurf at UCLA aims to partner with local and global organizations to promote wellness in the medical community, create long-lasting, equitable, and accessible relationships with the diverse communities of LA, and participate in local sustainability and environmental protection efforts.

  • Student Coordinators: Nam Yong Cho, Torey Averick, Oliver Campbell, Chris Carvalho, Jose Chevalier, Charles Santamaria
  • Student Advisors:  Kajol Maheshwari
  • Faculty Advisors: Gregory Gates, MD, David Reilly, MD, Adriana Izquierdo, MD

Our mission is to provide an educational and collaborative environment where medical school students can learn about medical careers and special patient populations as they relate to the military and VA. This group welcomes anyone with or without a military background, who is interested in learning about the specific needs of the military and veteran patient population, and/or is interested in the career opportunities and special training opportunities the Department of Defense and VA healthcare system can provide. It also includes any student veteran or student interested in military scholarship and training programs that can fund your medical career in exchange for a specific amount of time of service to this country as a medical professional.

  • To act as a liaison between incoming/existing military and veteran students and new and existing residents with military/veteran backgrounds or aspirations to the UCLA veteran's resource center to access the available pool of resources for required testing, purchasing of equipment, and other assistance programs
  • To connect military and veteran students with the sources, networks, and educational financial benefits they need to transition into a civilian educational life
  • To act as a welcoming support network for prior, currently serving and prospectively serving students to enhance the matriculation numbers of military/veteran students and increase the diversity of the UCLA student body
  • Student Coordinators: Geena Conde, Emily Dickey, Corinne Allas, Sarah Hinton, Mariam Noorhulda, Nneoma "Ezi" Okoro, Samuel Edwards, Tra-Mi Bao, Keer Zhang
  • Student Advisors: Christopher Hernandez, Randy Tsai, Abinaya Ramakrishnan, Charles Santamaria, Alejandro Vega, Angelina Wei, Felicia Zhang, Yaretson Carmenate 
  • Faculty Advisor: Denise Garvey, MD
  • Project WebsiteMobile Clinic Project 

We are a student-run, nonprofit street-side clinic based at UCLA. Our physicians and volunteers provide medical and social services to individuals experiencing homelessness within the Greater Los Angeles Area. Every Wednesday night and every other Saturday morning, we operate a clinic with undergraduate, medical, and public health students in a collaborative effort to bring healthcare and social services to this population. In a safe non-judgmental environment, we provide a combination of direct medical services, health promotion and disease prevention activities, social support and case management, legal services, and referrals to medical and social resources.

On hiatus from 2023

  • Student Coordinators: Jay Vankawala, Qiang Zhang
  • Student Advisor: Rohini Nott
  • Faculty Advisor: Rashmi Mullur, MD

The mission of our club is to bring our love for music to the field of medicine through performing with patients, families, and members of the UCLA community and beyond. We understand the power of music in healing and wish to spread this to our community, particularly patients in need of spiritual and emotional support. One of our favorite spaces to perform is the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital for children and families in the Pediatric ICU (in collaboration with the Expressive Arts Therapies Program). Singing with these patients and their families is not only humbling, but lots of fun – all the children join in and some even add their own dance moves! We also love playing music with the elderly patient population at the Berkley East nursing home. We welcome all music lovers to join us and spread music to our community.


  • Faculty Advisor: Neveen El-Farra, MD

Muslim Student Union (MSU) is the Muslim affinity group at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM). We aim to:

  • Educate the DGSOM community on how to provide culturally humble, compassionate, patient-centered care to Muslim patients and their families.
  • Advocate for and support the needs of Muslim students and colleagues at DGSOM.
  • Advocate for and serve the needs of structurally vulnerable communities in Los Angeles with a focus on the local underserved Muslim population.
  • Plan social and professional events to unite the medical student and medical health professional community within DGSOM and UCLA Health. 
  • Create an inclusive environment based on understanding, respect, and tolerance that celebrates our differences.
  • Plan interfaith events with our colleagues at DGSOM, UCLA Health and all our affiliated hospitals (Olive View, Harbor, Cedars, VA) to promote a spirit of standing together, health, and well-being amongst our entire community.
  • Student Coordinators: Harika Kottakota, Tira Oskoui, Akshayaa Chittibabu
  • Student Advisors: Stephanie Bueno, Clara Nguyen, Grace Yi
  • Faculty Advisor: Whitney Arnold, PhD

The Narrative Medicine Collective at DGSOM seeks to provide a collaborative space for medical students and healthcare professionals to reflect on their
collective experiences within healthcare. Narrative medicine is a rising discipline that combines humanities, arts, clinical medicine, and social justice to
give voice to diverse perspectives and humanism in medicine through narratives and prose. The ultimate goal is to use narrative medicine as a vessel to
promote equitable and patient-centered health care. The goal of the Collective: - serve as a community for individuals in health care who wish to reflect
with like-minded peers about varying perspectives in health care (i.e. as providers and/or as patients) - host student-led writing events open to the larger
DGSOM community and provide a comfortable space to write, reflect, and share - lead narrative medicine writing workshops to give feedback to
members who request to workshop their written pieces - produce a recurring narrative medicine publication that features voices within the DGSOM

  • Student Coordinators: Deborah Cheng
  • Student Advisors:  Myles Anderson, Andy Chung, DeAndre Guyton
  • Faculty Advisor: Daphne Calmes, MD

Partnership 4 Progress
Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science College of Medicine
1731 East 20th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90059
Email: Partnership4progress@yahoo.com

Our goal is to provide guidance and direction for underserved and underrepresented South Los Angeles high school students that are interested in pursuing a career in the medical field. This project provides student mentors as role models to influence and encourage them to strive toward their future endeavors. Mentors will educate youths on establishing goals, college matriculation, and delayed gratification, and help them prepare for overcoming potential obstacles.

  • Student Coordinators: Zahra Amiri, Tara Shahrvini 
  • Upperclassmen Advisors: Sahar Ashrafzadeh
  • Faculty Advisors: Mohamad Navab, PhD, Amir Marvasti, MD

Persian Medical Society will be an organization that aspires to create a community of Persian American healthcare providers at UCLA. Some of the goals are: 

  • Providing mentorship for young professionals and students
  • Professional networking
  • Organizing volunteering events
  • Creating an inclusive culture and welcoming space for all backgrounds
  •  Collaborating with dentistry, nursing, public health, and other graduate and undergraduate programs at UCLA to unite individuals interested in healthcare and advocacy
  • Creating leadership opportunities for students
  • Since Los Angeles has a great population of Farsi-speaking patients one of the goals of this organization will be to advocate for such patients and raise awareness to overcome the key barriers to healthcare access
  • Student Coordinators: Yousseff Essanna, Anne Hall
  • Student Advisors: Callie Cuff, Emily Nguyen
  • Faculty Advisor: Arthur Ohannessian, MD

The goals of Project HEAL are to:

  • Teach health workshops in ninth-grade classrooms at Esteban Torres High School on topics such as mental health, nutrition, drugs, and alcohol use.
  • Promote well-being and foster a sense of excitement about careers in the health sector among students who represent a population underrepresented in medicine.
  • Student Coordinator: Alexander Krawec, Jonathan Balderrama
  • Student Advisors: Meachelle Lum, Julia Hafer
  • Faculty Advisor: Rashmi Mullur, MD

Rosear seeks to: 

  • Unite a community of people who may be experiencing loss, grief, or traumatic death experiences 
  • Provide an open space for healing and a reliant support group
  • Offer emotional support and resources
  • Address stigmas associated with grief or asking for help
  • Allow students to listen to and for each other
  • Provide a foundation to discuss and combat under-representation due to abnormal family structures/communities (proper titles/consolation in identity)
  • Discussing grief and loss with each other will help medical students better understand their patients through empathy
  • Student Coordinators: Nam Yong Cho, Joseph Wertz, Jordan Brafman, Abinaya Ramakrishnan, Arianna Konstantopoulos, Dustin Zwiebel, Thomas Roache
  • Student Advisor:  Alexander Vesling
  • Faculty Advisor: Rochelle Dicker, MD

SAFE (Scrubs Addressing the Firearm Epidemic) strives to:

  • Raise awareness of the United States firearm epidemic as a public health crisis, and to combat this issue on our campus by promoting dialogue, research, and evidence-based curriculum changes
  • Serve as a chapter and representative of the national organization, Scrubs Addressing the Firearm Epidemic, at the David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM) at UCLA as well as among the graduate schools of UCLA
  • Represent a uniting front for physicians, medical students, nurses, public health students, and other healthcare professionals throughout our campus to comprehensively address this issue from a public health standpoint.
  • Student Coordinators: George Daghlian,  David Zarrin
  • Student Advisors: Justin Lee,  Cindy Liu
  • Faculty Advisor: TBD 

Sling Health at UCLA was founded in 2017 by medical students at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. It began as an informal health technology incubator with the vision of empowering medical students to solve relevant issues in healthcare. In the first year, we supported two teams: one focused on developing a tool to streamline pediatric care coordination for the most vulnerable children within UCLA Health, and another developing a meal kit delivery service to use food as medicine for pressing chronic conditions like diabetes. In the second year, the health technology incubator at UCLA merged with the national Sling Health network founded by medical students at Washington University in St. Louis to become Sling Health at UCLA.

We have now developed an innovative platform that:

  • Provides experiential training for the next generation of physician innovators 
  • Enables the creation of innovative technologies for pressing clinical needs.

Each year, the organization first brings together top students in medicine, engineering, business, and other graduate specializations to form interdisciplinary teams, connecting them to clinicians and local entrepreneurs to develop novel solutions for healthcare issues. Sling Health at UCLA then provides the necessary infrastructure, training, and mentorship to create solutions to address identified clinical challenges and expose students to healthcare innovation.

  • Student Coordinator: Adam Alghalith, Christina Im
  • Student Advisor: Emily Coker
  • Faculty Advisor: Rolanda Gott, MD

Special Olympics at DGSOM has three goals:

  • Increase awareness of inclusive health practices among future medical leaders by hosting faculty-led workshops and panels.
  • Expose medical students to careers focused on treating patients with IDD through discussions and shadowing.
  • Serve the IDD patient population through Special Olympics.
  • Student Coordinators: Spencer Flynn
  • EACE Chief: Joshua Rivera
  • Street Medicine Chiefs: Jose Eka, Jordan Peyer, David Kim, Jackie Vu, Autreen Golzar
  • General Clinic Chief: Rebbeca Brena, Maggie Owens
  • Student Advisors: Kaylin Gonzalez, Tijana Temelkovska
  • Faculty Advisor: Mary Marfisee, MD
  • Website: Student Run Homeless Clinic

The Student Run Health Clinics were founded in 1989-1990 under the direction of the Department of Family Medicine at UCLA.  The clinics are solely run by DGSOM medical students and supervised by licensed UCLA faculty physicians.  SRHC serves over 1000 patients a year.  Our services include preventive health, mental health, basic primary and urgent care, acute and chronic disease management, wound and foot care, social services referrals, immunizations, and more.  In addition to medical care, SRHC works to empower these communities with patient education.

The mission of the UCLA Student Run Homeless Clinics (SRHC) is to provide respectful and compassionate health care services to homeless adults, families, and children living in the greater Los Angeles area. The individuals we serve benefit by receiving free medical care from UCLA medical students and faculty physicians. The founders and clinic participants are dedicated to the health of the community.

Learn more about teh Student Run Homeless Clinic 

  • Student Coordinators: Christina Im, Nora Galoustian, 
  • Student Advisors: Edhosa Edogun, Charlotte Wahle
  • Faculty Advisor: Rachel Thompson, MD

Thrive Adaptive invites adaptive sports programs to partner with us in creating a thriving community that bridges the gap between clinical professionals,
medical students, and the world of adaptive sports. Together, we can empower individuals with disabilities, foster collaboration, and revolutionize the
landscape of inclusive healthcare. We hope to achieve this goal through carefully crafted educational opportunities, developing meaningful qualitative
and quantitative research, and providing proper medical support for adaptive athletes. We aim to empower today’s medical professionals to become
champions of inclusive healthcare for individuals with disabilities. We will continue to forge alliances with local adaptive recreation providers and the
medical community to build a network of current and future medical professionals who excel at caring for individuals with disabilities. Through these close
collaborations, we foster a vibrant and supportive community that empowers individuals with disabilities to thrive. We equip clinicians with the specialized
skills and knowledge needed to provide exceptional care for adaptive athletes at all levels, from beginner to Paralympian. Furthermore, by providing
medical support at adaptive sports events, we are building relationships with individual adaptive athletes so that we can understand and support all of
their healthcare needs. Thrive Adaptive directors are actively engaged with faculty from the UCLA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in an effort to
build a healthcare pipeline for adaptive athletes that will redefine the standard of care for individuals with disabilities, and deliver medical services that
optimize health, wellness, and athletic performance. Members of the Thrive Adaptive Special Interest Group at DGSOM and the broader Thrive Adaptive
volunteer community will have collaborative opportunities to: 1) Create comprehensive training modules and education in conjunction with our partners to
train both medical professionals and community members about adaptive sports. 2) Foster meaningful relationships within UCLA and other large
academic institutions to develop high-level qualitative and quantitative research that benefits people with disabilities and the adaptive sports community.
3) Prepare medical professionals to support athletes at major high-level sporting events like the LA 2028 Paralympics and beyond via first-hand teaching
from skilled providers and community members. As well as carefully crafted educational resources. 4) Create a network of individuals who are
passionate about learning more about athletes with disabilities. 5) Participants will be able to hone their leadership skills by providing medical support for
large adaptive sports events with over 200+ participants. 6) Connect the community of interested students and providers with athletes in need to facilitate
positive outcomes for people with disabilities during major sporting events. 7) Enable equitable access to quality specialized medical support. 8)
Empower our communities to help them Thrive.

  • Student Coordinators: Jessica Menjivar Cruz, Yesica Equiha Maximiliano
  • Student Advisors:Darwin Gutierrez, Mohit Bandla
  • Faculty Advisor: Yohualli Balderas-Medina Ananya, MD

Our mission is to collectively provide support for undocumented students affiliated with UCLA and CDU who are pursuing careers in health care. Our goals are to:

  • Increase funds, such as loans and scholarships, for undocumented students pursuing health care
  • Educate students and faculty about how immigration status impacts students, patients, providers, and the community at large.
  • Advocate for policy changes that lead to sustainable solutions for undocumented students pursuing health careers.
  • Student Coordinators: Zeena Mestari, Joseph Ebriani
  • Faculty Advisors: Marcia Hoegling, MD and Carol Cheng, MD

Our mission is to forge a strong partnership with the Los Angeles youth community, working hand in hand to raise awareness and educate individuals
about the importance of skin health, preventing skin cancer and communicable skin diseases, and mental health. Through outreach, advocacy, and
accessible resources, we are committed to reaching out to marginalized populations, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their background or
circumstances, has access to vital information and resources for skin health and mental wellness. Together, we strive to promote a culture of skin health
that embraces safe skin practices, informed choices, opportunities for mentorship and exposure to the field of medicine.


Christian Medical and Dental Association

The Christian Medical & Dental Association (CMDA) provides resources, networking opportunities, education, and a public voice for Christian healthcare professionals and students.

Learn more about the CMDA
Med Mentors in cafe

Med Mentors

​Med Mentors at UCLA is a group of DGSOM medical students who are eager to share advice and resources with premed students at UCLA and beyond.

Learn more about the Med Mentors
SRHC outdoor clinics

Student Run Homeless Clinics

The Student Run Homeless Clinics (SRHC) provide free medical care to people who are homeless and underserved.

Learn more about SRHC