Community and Service Organizations

Your DGSOM, Your Community

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

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Greetings from the Community and Service Organizations

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.

Active Organizations

Explore organizations that match your interests.

  • Student Coordinators: Ursula Biba, Matthew Carter
  • Student Advisors: Michelle Ko, Illana Golub, Peter Yan
  • 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. 

  • Student Coordinators: Nicholas Hamilton, Tira Oskoui
  • Student Advisor: Madison Kent, Lauren Taiclet
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: Pooja Bisarya, Ursula Biba
  • Student Advisor: Tucker Avra, Callie Cuff, Vishnu Murthy, Jeremy Policht
  • 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: Sonia S. Raghuram, Fadi Dahoud
  • Student Advisor: Baba Adejuyigbe
  • 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: Harika Kottakota, Emma Ruskin, Charlotte Poplawski
  • Student Advisors: Leane Nasrallah, Kasey Fitzsimmons, Zina Jawadi
  • 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 Coordinator: Nicholas Hamilton, Leslie Ojeaburu, Fahim Mahmud, Jorge Sifuentes
  • Student Advisors: Nguyen Pham
  • 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:  Alexandre Bourcier, Yifan Mao, Savannah Starr
  • Student Advisors: Sarah Alimirzaie, Anwesha Dubey, Farinaz Ghodrati, Keshav Goel
  • 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 Coordinators: Stephanie Bueno, Jack Fukushima
  • Student Advisors: Matthew Hing, Stephanie Clavijo, Yusra Ahmedin
  • Faculty Advisors: Elaine Chan, MD, Clarence Braddock, MD

Our Mission & Goals:

The Summer Health Justice Internship is a community-centered and community-led program co-created by DGSOM/CDU medical students, community members, and physician activists aimed to provide first-generation BIPOC students with an opportunity to:

  • Engage in a med student and community-led curriculum around structural racism, vulnerability, and social justice in medicine
  • Receive personal and professional mentorship for a career in health justice for underserved communities
  • Complete a final research or arts-based project. 

URM pre-med students are negatively impacted by systemic racism and therefore, intentional pipeline programs are needed to overcome unique barriers faced by first generation, Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) students.

  • Co-creation of knowledge: The curriculum veers away from the assumption that the teacher holds all the knowledge, and the student an empty vessel to be filled. Facilitators are required to complete the same reflection assignments as the interns, and interns are encouraged to bring material for class to engage with together.
  • Adapted for learners at different stages of critical consciousness: The first week of the curriculum is designed so that facilitators model critical engagement, encourage questions of all levels, and develop a shared language. Facilitators assist learners to collaborate with peers. Readings are scaled: background resources for topics that are new to the learner required material, and enrichment material for those who are very familiar with the week's concepts. Interns have "buddies" and assigned mentors for the duration of the 9 weeks. At the end of each week, interns provide feedback on what activities were most useful, redundant, or unnecessary.
  • Building trust: The Health Justice internship prioritizes the health, wellbeing, and growth of BIPOC participants in this space. Trust is required to see, learn, unlearn, criticize harms created by structural racism. Our interns and facilitators have experienced structural violence, but in different ways. We allow for flexibility to process together and independently the sociopolitical events that affect our families and communities (e.g. COVID19 pandemic, police brutality, dehumanization of unhoused, election results- Focus on community resilience: Beyond structural violence, we developed a curriculum that highlights community strength, achievements, and resilience. This is an intention to change the narrative that oftentimes depicts marginalized communities are weak, broken, unhealthy, and dependent.
  • Creation of tangible product: In addition to this experience, the curriculum is geared to assist learners in collaboration with a tangible product, "a final project", to carry with them for their future endeavors. Along with reflections, interns gain material that may be used in their personal statements, their applications for jobs and other internship opportunities, etc. Facilitators and mentors assist learners, provide support and guidance to reach their stated goals for this product.

  • Student Coordinator: Eliana Jokolvsky, Eric Smith
  • 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 Coordinators: Maggie Hui, Aura Elias
  • Student Advisors: Myriam Shehata, Elizabeth Wang
  • 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.

  • Student Coordinators: Abena Adobah, David Lee, Amanda Miller, Nina Modanlo
  • Student Advisors: Grace Riley, Dana Grundy, Isa Abdul Cader, Danielle Newton
  • Faculty Advisor: Denise Nunez

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 the 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 the needs of local organizations and enable students to learn about the complexities of improving and maintaining the health of our community.

  • Student Coordinators: Corinne Alias, Ayesha Ng, Grace Yi, Derek Zhang
  • Student Advisors: Kirandeep Kaur, Michelle Shu, Brandon Tsai, Haroon Rasheed, Terri Shih
  • 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.

 

  • Student Coordinators: Julia Gensheimer, Ryan Shih
  • Student Advisors: Adewunmi Adelaja, Fitz Gerald Diala, Reza Kianian, Anna Wood
  • Faculty Advisor: Esteban Dell'Angelica, MD

Med Mentors at UCLA is a group of DGSOM students eager to serve the premed community at UCLA and beyond. Our primary goal is to share advice and resources with all UCLA premed students and alumni, but we also offer resources to premeds across the country. We do this by hosting student panels, providing peer advising, compiling premed resources, and assisting the pre-health office in the UCLA Career Center.

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

  • 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: Sahar Ashrafzadeh, Martina Cavallini, Mauranda Men
  • Student Advisors: Melodyanne Chang, Brittany Wong
  • 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: 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.

  • Student Co-Coordinators:  Elijah Bingham, Durga Ghosh
  • Student Committee Members: Maximiliano Abundez, Baba Adejuyigbe, Theo Bennett, Austin Burrows, Avra Tucker
  • 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 and Kajol Maheshwari
  • Student Advisors: Durga Ghosh, Kat Schmolly
  • Faculty Advisors: Gregory Gates, MD, David Reilly, 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 (West Hollywood): Geena Conde, Youssef Essanna, Kate Holland
  • Student Coordinators (Food on Foot): Em Dickey, Lexy Anderson
  • Student Advisors: Austin Burrows, Nisha Choothakan, Christopher Huerta, Bronwyn Stone, Ilana Golub, Derek Zhang
  • Faculty Advisor: Denise Garvey, MD
  • Project Website: Mobile 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.

  • 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.

  • Student Coordinators: Reem Karmouta, Nuha Khalfay
  • Student Advisor: Yusra Ahmedin
  • 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: Mohit Bandla, Brandon Williams, Brandon Brizuela, Alexis Aleman
  • Student Advisors: Ope Akerele, Erika Mae Bernadino, Nabill Munshi, McKayla Poppens
  • 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: 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: Nam Yong Cho, Alexander Vesling
  • Student Advisors: Jordan Brafman
  • 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, Sean Pianka, David Zarrin
  • Student Advisors: Justin Lee,  Cindy Liu
  • Faculty Advisor: Clarence Braddock, MD

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
  • 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: Kaylin Gonzalez, Tijana Temelkovska
  • EACE Chief: Joshua Rivera
  • Street Medicine Chiefs: Graci Yi, Jordan Peyer, Jackie Vu
  • General Clinic Chief: Maria Chen
  • Student Advisor: Kate Corry-Saavedra
  • 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.

  • Student Coordinators: Darwin Gutierrez, Mohit Bandla
  • Student Advisors: Maximilliano Abundez, Dailyn Rodriguez
  • 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.

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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