Active Interest Groups

Explore groups that match your interests. 

  • Student Coordinator: On hiatus
  • Student Advisor: Anouk Ackerman
  • Faculty Advisor: Timothy Fong, MD

Our mission is to support the health and dignity of persons and communities impacted by addiction. To promote evidence-based addiction education to medical students, physicians and other health trainees. To strive to sustain every person’s right to health and welfare. We recognize each individual’s agency to engage in their own health and contribution to public health advocacy. To promote harm reduction practices and programs that work to reduce the detrimental consequences of drug use including hepatitis B and C, HIV, addiction, and overdose.

  • Student Coordinators: Michelle Li and Daniel Tang
  • Faculty Advisor: Richard Gates, MD and Jeffrey Sebastian, MD

Opportunities to learn and practice basic, intermediate, and advanced surgical skills can significantly enhance medical students’ preparation for clinical clerkships and residency programs in surgical fields. The goal of AAMS at UCLA is to empower students at DGSOM to gain confidence and fluency in their surgical skills by providing consistent and frequent opportunities to practice through our monthly surgery workshops. We are collaborating with an amazing group of physicians through AAMS and UCLA who will teach skills ranging from knot-tying, suturing, and instrument handling to essential cardiothoracic surgery procedures.

Formerly known as the Neurosurgery Interest Group

  • Student Coordinators: George Daghlian, Yashaar Hafizka, Joshua Rivera, Michael Ward
  • Student Advisor: Aditya Kondajji
  • Faculty Advisor: Linda Liau, MD, PhD and Isaac Yang, MD
  • Department Website: UCLA Neurosurgery

The Mission of the American Association of Neurological Surgery (AANS) Medical Student Chapter at DGSOM is to provide early support and leadership training to medical students exploring a career in neurosurgery. This AANS Medical Student Chapter will provide a forum for students to organize professional, educational, and research activities within DGSOM, promote mentorship, and facilitate participation at a national level for the next generation of neurosurgical leaders.

The Vision for this AANS Medical Student Chapter is as follows: To partner with AANS and the neurosurgery department at UCLA in the mentorship and professional development of medical students interested in neurosurgery. To that end, this AANS medical student chapter will support activities that increase interest in neurosurgery as a career, promote neurosurgical education and foster early leadership. Through the resources of AANS and UCLA, we will provide opportunities for medical student leadership, meeting participation, education, and research in the field of neurosurgery.

  • Student Coordinators: Lexy Anderson and Brandon Williams
  • Student Advisor: Dong Ho Shin and Athreya Steiger
  • Faculty Advisor: Jennifer Nguyen-Lee, MD and Michael Wolfe, MD
  • Department Website: UCLA Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine

The Anesthesiology Interest Group at the DGSOM aims to increase awareness and interest in Anesthesiology as it is a specialty that students have very little exposure to in the preclinical as well as in many students’ clinical years. It provides opportunities for students to learn about the specialty, become involved in research/mentorship/shadowing, and acquire hands-on practical skills with common procedures and techniques. We provide opportunities to attend anesthesia-related workshops such as an airways lab to allow students to gain experience in intubating a patient and doing a cricothyroidotomy.

We complete this mission through a variety of activities:

  • Airway management workshop co-hosted with other DGSOM student interest groups. Students are given a short introductory presentation on airway anatomy, followed by a hands-on workshop where students learn and practice intubation, as well as work with Glidescopes, fiber optic scopes, LMAs, and mask ventilation.
  • Pre-shadowing orientation in the Anesthesiology Department at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center.
  • Multiple interactive, case-based talks by residents and professors of the Anesthesiology Department at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center.

  • Student Coordinators: Shayane Ebrahimiam, Justin Hanson, and Anthony Nguyen
  • Student Advisor: Austin Burrows, Juka Kim, and Keeley Ravellette
  • Faculty Advisor: Gregg Fonarow, MD
  • Department Website: UCLA Heart and Vascular Services

The goal of the Cardiology Interest Group is to expose future physicians to the excitement of different fields within cardiology at an early stage in training. To do so, we will organize lunchtime meetings during which leaders in their field have an opportunity to speak to first and second-year medical students about their work and the current trends in the field of cardiology. Students benefit by getting early exposure to cardiology, plus the privilege to hear some wonderful doctors whom they would not otherwise come in contact with so early in their training. We will also provide shadowing opportunities, enabling students to get hands-on experience with cardiology patients. Lastly, the Cardiology Interest Group will provide opportunities for medical students to get to know cardiology fellows and attendings through social events and mixers, thus creating a collegial atmosphere to foster interest in cardiology. We hope this group will spark interest in pursuing a career path in one of the cardiology specialties to balance the growing need for cardiologists both in the clinical and research realms.

  • Student Coordinators: Xochitl Longstaff, Darain Noveir, Charlotte Wahl, and Frank Zhou
  • Student Advisor: Stephanie Javadi, Karen Lam, Sarah Park, and Kathyana Santiago Mangual
  • Faculty Advisor: Paul Levins, MD

The Dermatology Interest Group aims to expand awareness and interest among students about the field of dermatology and dermatopathology through lunch panels, grand round talks, and volunteering opportunities. It is often very difficult for first-and second-year medical students to gain access to dermatology-centered patient exposure as during the first two years of medical school, there are no dermatology preceptor programs or rotations. The Dermatology Interest Group addresses this issue by allowing students to participate in the Venice Family Dermatology Clinic, a unique experience that allows students to function as members of a patient care team composed of dermatology attending physicians and residents. This opportunity allows students to practice the dermatology-focused patient interview, dermatology patient care, and patient presentation skills to dermatology attending physicians.

  • Student Coordinator: On hiatus
  • Student Advisor: Jenna Dovydaitis
  • Faculty Advisor: Gregory Hendey, MD

As defined by the Emergency Medicine Residents' Association, disaster medicine "provides care for the victims of natural and man-made disasters with specific consideration given to timeliness and availability of resources”.

  • The topic of disaster medicine is especially relevant to the world today, as COVID-19 has emphasized the difficulties of low-resource medicine in the context of a biological disaster.
  • However, the application of disaster medicine is far from limited to COVID-19. As increasingly intense natural disasters occur due to climate change, and events like mass-casualty shootings continue to affect society's health, the principles of disaster medicine are important for our future physicians to learn.
  • This year has also shed light on the importance of physicians in government leadership in both times of disaster and normalcy, as to bolster our future public health response capacity.
  • The DMIG aims to address the above statements by introducing DGSOM's students to techniques of disaster medicine from both the clinical and political leadership standpoints.

  • Student Coordinators: Nicholas Hamilton, Boss Le, Luigi Varilla, and Grace Yi
  • Student Advisor: Jordan Brafman, John Filosa, Kirandeep Kaur, and Stephenie Martinez
  • Faculty Advisor: Tomer Begaz, MD
  • Department Website: UCLA Emergency Medicine
  • Contact: emig.dgsom@gmail.com

The Emergency Medicine Interest Group is a group of first and second-year medical students who work with physicians from the UCLA-affiliated Emergency Departments to learn clinical skills and explore opportunities in Emergency Medicine. Dr. Tomer Begaz, along with residents from UCLA, help teach students skills such as suturing, splinting, starting IVs, intubation, and ultrasound. The group also meets to discuss topics about Emergency Medicine, such as planning for residency, discussing the life of EM physicians, exploring career choices in Emergency Medicine, and much more. The interest group leaders ensure that students have access to information regarding national organizations like ACEP, AAEM, and EMRA. EMIG also encourages participation in Emergency Medicine conferences throughout Southern California.

EMIG supports a shadowing program whereby students follow residents during their shifts in the Emergency Departments at UCLA affiliate hospitals - RRMC, Harbor, and Olive View.

  • Student Coordinator: Anne Hall
  • Student Advisor: Michelle Gallardo, Jose Galvez Hernandez, and Emily Nguyen
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dan Lee, MD
  • Department Website: UCLA Family Medicine

The Family Medicine Interest Group’s mission is to provide DGSOM students with opportunities to learn more about the specialty of Family Medicine. Through a variety of events, our goal is to educate students about careers in Family Medicine, requirements for residency, and career pathways. We intend to do this by offering talks from various physicians in Family Medicine, networking events, and other opportunities as available.

  • Student Coordinator: On hiatus for 2022-23 Academic Year
  • Student Advisor: On hiatus for 2022-23 Academic Year
  • Faculty Advisor: Benjamin Nulsen, MD

The mission of the Gastroenterology Student Interest Group (GSIG) is to inform medical students of the increasing relevance of gastroenterology in holistic patient care. We aim to highlight the impact of various preventive measures in gastroenterology, including colorectal cancer screening and personalized nutrition guidance. We strive to provide various enriching opportunities, including faculty mentorship and workshops, in order to introduce medical students to the wide-reaching discipline of gastroenterology. We envision our group to serve as a means to provide an additional perspective on the health disparities that exist in the field of gastroenterology.

  • Student Coordinator: Yoon Lee, Meghan Reddy, and Vananh Tran
  • Student Advisor: Connie Ho and Alexandra Johnson
  • Faculty Advisor: Brandon Koretz, MD

The goals of the Geriatric Medicine Interest Group (GMIG) are:

  • To ignite interest in geriatrics among UCLA medical students
  • To disseminate knowledge and increase awareness of the special issues and research work that address the health care problems of older people
  • To provide community service that focuses on the wellness of the elderly

We are determined to accomplish our goals with hour-long noon seminars, various opportunities to connect geriatricians in both clinical and hospital settings, and undertake community outreach projects.

  • Student Coordinator: Zachary Bango and Nafisa Wara
  • Student Advisor: Tucker Avra, Anwesha Dubey and Alexandra Keir
  • Faculty Advisor: Risa Hoffman, MD and Traci Wells, MD

The Global Health Interest Group (GHIG) serves to educate medical students about global health and human rights issues. The organization aims to facilitate medical student exposure to global health through several avenues, including lunch talks, informational sessions on global health opportunities at DGSOM, expert panels and co-hosting the annual Los Angeles Global Health Conference (LAGHC). In 2021, the Global Health Interest Group will seek to further engage students from multiple UCLA programs by hosting a cross-disciplinary global health case competition, which may be expanded into an annual event.

  • Student Coordinator: Zina Jawadi, Myungjun Ko, and Marie Luff
  • Student Advisor: Megan Cheng and John Deng
  • Faculty Advisor: Quinton Gopen, MD

The mission of the Head and Neck Surgery Student Interest Group is to introduce medical students to the field of Head and Neck Surgery through events that will expose them to current faculty and residents in the field.

  • Students will be given opportunities to explore the field by shadowing in the OR and engaging in research.
  • Through workshops and lunch talks, students will be introduced to basic techniques and medical innovations.
  • Mentorship and networking events will provide opportunities for professional development and engagement in research.

  • Student Coordinator: Christine Liu and Breanna Walsh
  • Student Advisor: Lauren Rosas
  • Faculty Advisor: Judith Currier, MD and Christopher Graber, MD

The Infectious Diseases Interest Group (IDIG) at DGSOM aims to introduce medical students to the field of infectious diseases (ID). The goal of the group is to increase students’ awareness and to provide avenues for professional development and exploration in the field. Additionally, the organization aims to identify any health disparities within the field and help bridge those gaps with education, community service, and advocacy.

  • Student Coordinator: Mengdong He and Samantha Maisel
  • Student Advisor: Stephanie Pintas
  • Faculty Advisor: Ka-Kit Hui, MD and Rashmi S. Mullur, MD

Our group focuses on informing students about evidence-based integrative therapies like acupuncture, trigger point injections, and meditation while exposing students to real-world clinical applications right here at UCLA.

  • Students learn about tools that can better assist patients whether holistic counseling, traditional Chinese medicine, and/or nutritional applications.
  • Further, our events help students become cognizant of the importance of well-being and ways to integrate changes in their own lives for stress reduction and to be more present and informed clinicians.

  • Student Coordinator: Erika Mae Bernadino and Keeley Ravellette
  • Student Advisor: May Kyaw
  • Faculty Advisor: Inderpreet Saini, MD

The mission of the DGSOM-UCLA Internal Medicine Interest Group (IMIG) is to provide students with information about internal medicine as a medical specialty and as a possible career; expose students to physicians in the field of internal medicine with interesting and successful careers who can provide students with a sense of what it is like to be an internal medicine specialist or subspecialist/ and provide an opportunity for students to learn, network, and serve their community together.

IMIG fulfills this mission by hosting speaker events featuring UCLA and community residents, fellows, and physicians; setting up shadowing opportunities at Ronald Reagan Medical Center; organizing student participation in service events such as community health fairs; and promoting opportunities for students to submit abstracts to American College of Physicians research competitions.

  • Student Coordinator: Jasmine Deng and Sarah Park
  • Student Advisor: Mamdouh Aker, Christian Tejeda and Alberto Romo Valenzuela
  • Faculty Advisor: Tamara Horwich, MD

Lifestyle Medicine is one of the fastest-growing career fields of medicine globally. Holding the promise for health reform as it addresses the root cause of chronic illness, Lifestyle Medicine is the evidence-based practice of helping individuals and families adopt and sustain healthy behaviors that affect health and quality of life. Examples of target patient behaviors include, but are not limited to, eliminating tobacco use, improving diet, increasing physical activity, and moderating alcohol consumption. Medical students across the country have expressed concerns about the lack of lifestyle medicine knowledge surrounding topics such as physical activity, nutrition, and behavior-change strategies. The aspiration of the Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group (LMIG) at DGSOM is to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to counsel patients about exercise, diet, behavior change, and preventative medicine, taking into account positive psychology and the social determinants of health.

The goals of LMIG are to:

  • Educate students about how to address lifestyle-based management of chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, celiac disease, and obesity.
  • Train students regarding how to provide accurate and helpful Lifestyle Medicine counseling to patients and make targeted recommendations for patients that would fit their budget, lifestyle and other socio-economic determinants.
  • Enrich students’ knowledge about exercise, diet and nutrition, behavior change, positive psychology and wellness coaching, and the power of preventative medicine.
  • Help students gain confidence when speaking to patients about lifestyle-based health behaviors and offer personalized advice that is accurate and evidence- The focus of lunch and learn lectures, presentations, workshops, and participation in community health fairs is not only to educate students about lifestyle medicine and chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and obesity, but to help them integrate the experience that they will acquire in clinical settings and beyond.

  • Student Coordinator: Grace Riley, Dana Grundy, Isa Abdul Cader and Danielle Newton
  • Student Advisor: Rose Paneno
  • Faculty Advisor: Denise Nunez, MD

Mission

Los Angeles Medical Student Volunteers partners with local community organizations to identify roles for medical student volunteers to support the broad health needs of Los Angeles. We are grounded in the belief that health and wellness are human rights and that factors such as nutrition, housing, and social support are critical to one's health. We encourage growth of student leaders and community advocates through humble exploration of service in health equity and holistic care for our neighbors.

About

Los Angeles is home to numerous health and wellbeing-oriented community organizations. Many students choose DGSOM in part because they want to serve the diverse community of Los Angeles that will be home for four years or more. However, researching volunteer opportunities that fit each student's individual needs and interests is challenging. Now that students have only one year of pre-clinical coursework, a streamlined process for volunteering in the community is essential to maximize students' time and provide reliable, consistent support to neighboring organizations. With the support of the existing organization, Los Angeles Health Volunteers (LAHV), we established the student-run chapter Los Angeles Medical Student Volunteers (LAMSV) to facilitate this process. LAHV has fostered relationships with several medical, public health, and social services organizations that are seeking volunteers. We will match students with an organization, respecting their interests when possible, where they will volunteer on a regular basis. Students commit to in-person volunteering, and/or they and their partner organization can identify a project the student will lead to address a need of the organization. Furthermore, we work closely with the existing UCLA undergraduate chapter of LAHV to ensure smooth communication with our partner organizations. Medical students and undergraduates paired with the same organization may collaborate on projects in domains such as advocacy, education, and research. We will hold a showcase at the end of the school year in which undergraduates and medical students share their projects with the UCLA/DGSOM community. In addition, we plan to develop a mentorship program between medical students and undergraduates. LAMSV is building a platform to engage medical students in responsible, meaningful volunteer work that will address needs of local organizations and enable students to learn about the complexities of improving and maintaining the health of our community.

  • Student Coordinator: Nguyen Le, Emily Martey, and Hanna Mandl
  • Student Advisor: Amanda Nguyen and Michelle Shu
  • Faculty Advisor: Henry Kirolos, MD

MPIG is committed to giving students access to information about the Med-Peds residency and putting them in touch with physicians and residents in this field. As more pediatric patients with congenital and chronic conditions are surviving long into adulthood, there is an increased demand for physicians who can both treat these patients in their childhood and provide them with the unique care they need many years later. MPIG provides students with the opportunity to learn more about career options in this transitional care field and allows them to make connections with current residents and physicians at UCLA. It also provides insight into how training in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics can influence the clinical care that patients receive.

  • Student Coordinator: Kendall Clark, Lara Tang, and Elizabeth Wang
  • Student Advisor: Arya Aliabadi and Marie Altendahl
  • Faculty Advisor: Ashley Leung, MD and Valentina Rodriguez-Triana, MD
  • Department Website: UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology

This group is open to anyone interested in becoming familiar with the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Women's Health. We offer resources to educate and support students who are interested in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology and serve as a liaison between medical students and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. We sponsor lectures and panels on topics ranging from the current lifestyle of physicians practicing Obstetrics to the various sub-specialties available in both Obstetrics and Gynecology. In addition, we provide shadowing opportunities with residents at the Center for Health Sciences and with physicians in the community.

  • Student Coordinator: Opemipo Akerele, Alexandra Keir, Jack Tang, and Katie Thure
  • Student Advisor: Joey Li and Shreya Mathur
  • Faculty Advisor: Gary Schiller, MD
  • Department Website: UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Oncology Interest Group is dedicated to informing DGSOM students about a career in oncology. We aim to provide exposure to various aspects of different oncologic subspecialties through lunch talks, shadowing, research, and mentorship. We hope to raise awareness and spark interest in the following aspects of this important field of medicine:

  • Career exploration
  • Clinical experiences
  • Research opportunities
  • Community health and disparities in medicine

  • Student Coordinator: Durga Ganesh, Connie Ho, and Sam Lee
  • Student Advisor: Charles Vatanatham, Brittany Wong, and Gloria Yu
  • Faculty Advisor: Gary N. Holland, MD
  • Department Website: UCLA Health Eye Care

The Ophthalmology Interest Group (OIG) is a career specialty interest group that is devoted to increasing medical student awareness and interest in the field of ophthalmology. We organize various seminars including guest speakers and lectures, resident and faculty panels, and volunteer opportunities to promote student exposure.

  • Student Coordinator: Alexis Cheney, Durga Ghosh, and Alan Li
  • Student Advisor: Natalie Chapkis, Kellyn Hori, and Andrew Roney
  • Faculty Advisor: Sharon Hame, MD
  • Department Website: UCLA Orthopaedic Surgery

The Orthopaedic Surgery Interest Group (OSIG) at UCLA is designed for students who are interested in learning more about a career in orthopaedics. Over the course of the academic year, specially selected speakers will address a number of important issues including:

  • What an orthopaedic surgeon does
  • What a career as an orthopaedist entails
  • Different sub-specialties that one could ultimately pursue
  • Qualities/experiences that make a competitive applicant

Additionally, various research, volunteer, and shadowing opportunities will be offered to interested members. Students who are considering a career in orthopaedics, as well as those who are simply curious about this often misunderstood field, are invited to join.

  • Student Coordinator: Enat Arega, Sara Peña Carmona, and Holly Huang
  • Student Advisor: Michael Arnold
  • Faculty Advisor: Daniel Karlin, MD

The Palliative Care and Hospice Interest Group (PHIG) exposes students to the fields of palliative and hospice care through education and mentorship. We hope to facilitate understanding of end-of-life care in diverse populations and encourage the development of essential skills for all physicians and medical students involved with patients and their loved ones at this critical juncture. We pursue these goals through lunchtime talks, seminars, shadowing opportunities, and events aimed at exploring holistic goal-centered care from diagnosis to end-of-life through patient stories, self-reflection, community engagement, and transformative communication.

  • Student Coordinator: Karen Lam and Connor Webb
  • Student Advisor: Sean Johnson and Troy Sanders
  • Faculty Advisor: Elena Stark, MD, PhD

Many medical students and physicians remember their pathology course in medical school, but are not sure what a practicing pathologist actually does. Our purpose is to expand awareness and interest among students in the field of pathology as well as gain exposure to what a career in pathology entails. This organization also encourages students to consider pathology as a career and allows interested students to make contact with faculty and residents. It is the goal of this group to increase awareness, increase interest in the field, and provide a structured forum to gain information about pathology as a career choice. In addition, we plan to hold workshops on microscopy, grossing pathological specimens, and shadowing opportunities with current UCLA pathology residents and attendings. Also, we plan to have review sessions on histology and pathology pertinent to Step 1 or Block materials. These review sessions will not only benefit medical students interested in pathology as a specialty, but will also serve medical students reviewing for upcoming exams and Board evaluations.

  • Student Coordinator: Erika Mae Bernadino, and Fahim Mahmud
  • Student Advisor: Helia Imany, Esther Kim, Kyle Roux, and Maggie Tsang
  • Faculty Advisor: James Lee, MD and Deborah Lehman, MD
  • Department Website: Pediatrics Interest Group

The Pediatric Interest Group (PIG) strives to educate medical students about the vast field of pediatrics by promoting student exploration of pediatrics and its subspecialties, providing opportunities for career guidance, and encouraging awareness of issues pertaining to children and their families. With these goals in mind, PIG hopes to encourage and inspire medical students to pursue a career in pediatrics.

PIG accomplishes these goals through:

  • A mentorship program that matches medical students with pediatric residents
  • Educational workshops related to the field of pediatrics
  • Opportunities for hands-on experience with pediatrics in the UCLA simulation center
  • Numerous noontime lectures and panels to explore issues in the field of pediatrics that are relevant to medical students
  • Volunteer opportunities to allow students to work directly with pediatric patients and their families

  • Student Coordinator: Mengdong He and Beau Sperry
  • Student Advisor: Emmanuel Villalpando
  • Faculty Advisor: Matthew Robinson, MD and Tiffany Su, MD
  • Department Website: VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care

The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Interest Group (PM&RIG) is dedicated to the education of future physicians about the PM&R specialty and its function within the healthcare system. We accomplish this goal by hosting talks given by PM&R specialists and by arranging clinical skills training sessions.

Service

PM&RIG is working with the UCLA Mobile Clinic Project to bring PM&R expertise to underserved populations in Los Angeles. Through this opportunity, we give medical students the unique opportunity to simultaneously shadow and learn from PM&R physicians while serving Los Angeles's homeless population.

Leadership

PM&R provides leadership opportunities for interested medical students. These leadership opportunities grant students the opportunity to interact especially closely with UCLA faculty and physicians towards a common goal of spreading awareness and interest in PM&R among future physicians.

  • Student Coordinator: Sarah Alimirzaie and Keshav Goel
  • Student Advisor: Dillon Dejam
  • Faculty Advisor: Jason Roostaeian, MD

The Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery Interest Group (PRSIG) aims to provide DGSOM students with an opportunity to further their education and mentorship within the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery. Exposure to this surgical subspecialty will allow students to participate in the vast spectrum of opportunities that lie within the field including clinical experience, global health, and research.

The goals of PRSIG include the following:

  • Facilitate mentorship between UCLA plastic surgeons and DGSOM students through shadowing opportunities and lecture series
  • Provide career development for students interested in entering this highly competitive field
  • Teach basics of surgery through skills lab
  • Encourage collaboration with other students interested in surgery

  • Student Coordinator: Kyla Truman
  • Student Advisor: David Adams
  • Faculty Advisor: Michael Enenbach, MD and Jessica Jeffrey, MD

The Psychiatry Student Interest Group (PsychSIG) is dedicated to helping its members explore the field of psychiatry and its many subspecialties. Through lunch talks, skills workshops, outings into the community, and easily accessible information about the field, we hope to not only educate, but expand the student body's interest in the practice of psychiatry.

  • We consider mentorship to be a necessary aspect of exploring a career path and will facilitate mentorship relationships with practicing residents and psychiatrists in the community. These relationships will allow open communication that will enable students to learn more about the lifestyle, day-to-day practice, and training process of psychiatry.
  • This group will provide opportunities for leadership to all its members. Members will not only have the opportunity to become the interest group's leaders, but may also hold roles coordinating mentorship and group events.
  • PsychSIG at UCLA will continue to be a part of the Psychiatry Student Interest Group Network (PsychSIGN), a nationwide network of medical students interested in this field. Being a part of this network offers our members connections to peers, residents, and practicing psychiatrists all over the country.

  • Student Coordinator: Vera Khurshudyan and Grace Riley
  • Student Advisor: Sahar Ashrafzadeh
  • Faculty Advisor: Priyanka Fernandes, MD

The Public Health and Preventive Medicine Interest Group enables students to learn more about the field of public health and preventive medicine, participate in community outreach, and discover research opportunities. We strive to harness students’ passion for public health and encourage engagement in meaningful activities. We aim to foster connections with the Public Health and Preventive Medicine Fellowship program faculty and fellows as well as the Los Angeles Department of Public Health. We inspire students to envision incorporation of public health into their careers as future physicians and educate all on the importance of preventive medicine.

  • Student Coordinator: On hiatus for 2021-22 Academic Year
  • Student Advisor: Jesus Juarez
  • Faculty Advisor: Albert J. Chang, MD and Ann Raldow, MD

Radiation Oncology Interest Group (ROIG) is a student group dedicated to educating and elucidating medical students on the multidisciplinary field of radiation oncology. It is a common misconception that radiation oncology is related to radiology; radiation oncology entails using radiation to treat rather than detect disease. Furthermore, despite being one of the three primary ways to combat cancers, radiation oncology is often aggregated with other oncology fields and remains somewhat vaguely defined, with a lack of proper exposure despite being a very competitive, valuable, and critical medical field. ROIG will be the first in its kind to provide students a clearcut avenue to explore the field, learn the full extent of what exactly radiation oncologists can accomplish in their careers, and connect with mentors in radiation oncology early on in order to gain both clinical and research experience.

  • Student Coordinator: Troy Sanders and David Soobin Lee
  • Student Advisor: Vishnu Murthy and Beau Sperry
  • Faculty Advisor: Theodore Hall, MD and Matthew Quirk, MD
  • Contact: dgsom.rig@gmail.com

Radiology is a field that lies at the heart of the future of medicine. With its rapidly expanding diagnostic power and therapeutic potential, radiology provides a cutting-edge take on practicing medicine. The goals of the Radiology and Interventional Radiology Student Interest Group (RIRSIG) are to introduce medical students to this exciting career path and its different sub-specialties, connect students with related research opportunities, and help students to achieve their career goals.

  • Student Coordinator: Alexis Cheney and Fahim Mamud
  • Student Advisor: Michael Le and Andrew Roney
  • Faculty Advisor: Emily Miller, MD

The multidimensional aspect of sports medicine is often overlooked. Although the field universally deals with physical injuries related to sports and exercise, many disciplines contribute to this facet of patient care, including orthopaedic surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and primary care.

Specifically, the Sports Medicine Interest Group at the DGSOM aims to integrate the multidisciplinary approaches of training, research, and clinical practice involved with exercise science and sports medicine. The goal is to provide a more holistic perspective of the field by incorporating all relevant disciplines and medical expertise through physician panels, relevant training, research opportunities, and lunch discussions.

  • Student Coordinator: Julia Sun and Michelle Wu
  • Student Advisor: Megan Cheng
  • Faculty Advisor: Inna Keselman, MD

The Student Interest Group in Neurology (SIGN) chapter at UCLA enables students to learn about and explore neurology and related research. SIGN is affiliated with the American Academy of Neurology, which provides students with opportunities to connect with peers and professionals across the country. Locally, SIGN exposes students to the careers and lives of neurologists, and facilitates connections between medical students and neurology residents, fellows, and attendings at UCLA. SIGN also coordinates with the Department of Neurology to offer a Medical Student Summer Research Program scholarship enabling students to undertake neurological research endeavors at various sites across the country.

  • Student Coordinator: Sarah Alimirzaie and Clare Moffatt
  • Student Advisor: Shahrzad Moghadam and Yvonne Roca
  • Faculty Advisor: Kevork Kazanjian, MD and Junko Ozao-Choy, MD
  • Department Website: UCLA Surgery

The mission of Surgery Interest Group (SIG) is to educate medical students about a career in the field of general surgery and its various sub-specialties: in terms of the requirements for residency and fellowships, as well as research opportunities within this career. We also aim to galvanize interest among students to pursue various surgical specialties through clinical and research experiences. We complete this mission through a variety of activities:

  • Lunch talks with surgery faculty members from various subspecialties
  • Mixer events with surgery faculty, residents, and students
  • Surgical skills workshops with surgery faculty, residents, and students

  • Student Coordinator: Stephanie Hernandez
  • Student Advisor: Ming-Yeah Hu and Leilani Gutierrez-Palominos
  • Faculty Advisor: Fady Kaldas, MD

The Transplant Surgery Interest Group (TSIG) aims to expose medical students to the multidisciplinary field of organ transplantation. Our talks and discussions will explore the ethically and technically challenging nature of transplant procedures, integrating medicine, infectious disease, and pharmacology. Through lunchtime talks, ICU shadowing, and panel-based discussions, students will have the opportunity to delve further into the complex field of transplant surgery. We hope to highlight the nuances of the various specialties within transplant surgery, including the various research opportunities and career paths available within each specialty. Students will have the opportunity to gain further exposure to an underrepresented surgical specialty and continue exploring different paths out of a general surgery residency.

  • Student Coordinators: Jasmine Deng, Ghadi Ghanem, Athreya Steiger, Lara Tang, and Renee Zhao
  • Student Advisors: Jasmeet Dhaliwal, Michelle Guan, Amanda Nguyen, Audrey Nguyen, and Thibault Phillippine
  • Faculty Advisors: Alan Chiem, MD and Marie Stark, MD

The goal of the Ultrasound Interest Group (USIG) is to provide opportunities for medical students to expand their ultrasound education, which they can use in their clerkships and careers.

Ultrasound is a non-invasive, low-cost imaging technique that has a high diagnostic utility for many common conditions. As medicine continues to advance towards less invasive, higher-resolution modalities, we want to ensure that UCLA students will possess the knowledge and skills to be at the forefront of that movement. In addition, ultrasound benefits medical education by drawing anatomy correlates and enhancing anatomy education.

USIG seeks to become a base for continued efforts to advance ultrasound education at UCLA by coordinating efforts to acquire funding and suggest curriculum revisions that will enhance student confidence in their skills in performing ultrasound scans in the clinical setting. Our goal is to complement ultrasound education at UCLA by establishing a core of interested and motivated students who have a desire to further their ultrasound education.

Our mission statement will be fulfilled through the talks, workshops, and student discussion panels that USIG holds. Our faculty advisors will help facilitate lunch talks and hands-on ultrasound instruction from ultrasound fellows, attending physicians, and residents from the UCLA health system. Ultrafest will also provide a unique and expansive opportunity to learn from expert faculty in multiple specialties and observe how ultrasound can be utilized in different clinical settings. Advanced ultrasound training is a newly emerging field that demonstrates great promise for health care. USIG will seek to enhance the work DGSOM already does to educate and empower students through further education about ultrasound technology utilization.

  • Student Coordinator: Nuha Khalfay and Johnny Xu
  • Student Advisor: Tommy Jiang
  • Faculty Advisor: Jonathan Bergman, MD

The Urology Interest Group (UIG) is designed to expose medical students to the evolving and diverse field of Urology. While classified as a surgical specialty, Urology is unique because clinical problems encountered by physicians often involve a multidisciplinary approach to treatment integrating knowledge from internal medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, and other fields. UIG specifically aims to expose first and second-year medical students to a field that is underrepresented in the pre-clinical years of medical education at DGSOM.

  • Student Coordinator: Clare Moffatt
  • Student Advisors: John Deng, Morcos Nahkla, and Rachel Wahhab
  • Faculty Advisors: Karen Woo, MD and David Rigberg, MD

Providing medical students with the opportunity to learn about training paths and career paths in vascular surgery via interactions with residents, fellows, and faculty at UCLA:

  • Connecting medical students with opportunities to attend both local and national meetings in order to network with physicians, residents, and fellows in vascular surgery and learn about vascular surgery
  • Coordinating informal sessions with residents and fellows by hosting resident roundtables to learn more about training in vascular surgery from the trainee's point of view
  • Creating shadowing opportunities with potential mentors to experience vascular surgery first-hand
  • Stimulating interest in vascular surgery by holding research seminars and talks about health conditions managed by vascular surgeons
  • Organizing skills workshops with vascular surgeons at UCLA to give students a chance to learn basic techniques important to the field of vascular surgery and foster interest by providing a glimpse of what the field entails Communicating options for research projects under the guidance of faculty

  • Student Coordinator: On hiatus for the 2021-22 Academic Year
  • Student Advisors: Michael Rothberg and Caleb Warren
  • Faculty Advisor: Joanne Feldman, MD

The wilderness medicine interest group provides a unique opportunity for students to explore the vast, challenging, and under-represented world of outdoor medicine. In addition to mentorship, career exploration, and the potential to participate in the National Conference on Wilderness Medicine, the group runs skills-based events throughout the year. These events introduce members to the wide range of skills and improvisation necessary in a remote setting. Students are also exposed to wilderness medicine through talks with wilderness medicine professionals as well as hands-on experience in a wilderness setting.

  • Student Coordinators: Sarah Alimirzaie and Anwesha Dubey
  • Student Advisors: Gabrielle Daso and Zoe Geannopoulos
  • Faculty Advisors: Jessica Beth O'Connell, MD and Avital Harari, MD

The Women in Surgery Interest Group (WISIG) was created to address and support the increasing interest in surgical careers by female medical students and to enhance the exposure of UCLA’s medical students to active female surgeons within the UCLA community. WISIG’s primary focus is to increase the pipeline for female medical students considering careers in general surgery and surgical subspecialties.

WISIG is proud to:

  • Highlight female surgeons from the university and the local community to serve as role models for female medical students.
  • Provide direct mentoring and advising with respect to careers in academic and community practices.
  • Allow for open and guided discussions about specific challenges and tribulations that especially pertain to the woman surgeon.
  • Introduce unique opportunities for research, networking, volunteer work, and education within the various surgical fields.

However many of these topics classically considered “women’s issues” are truly issues for the modern-day surgeon. As such, WISIG is open to and encourages the professional development of all members of the medical school community regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic background.

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Career Development and Well-Being

Contact Mary Ann Triest for questions about student organizations, events, or starting a new group.

 

Mary Ann Triest, EdD
Director for Student Engagement
Student Organizations
mtriest@mednet.ucla.edu