​WellNess and Success

Welcome To Wellness and success

Wellness and success is at the center of the person-centered student support approach in our Office of Student Affairs. Our students are supported through access to formal counseling and psychological services, access to on-site individualized mental health support, wellness-based programming and events, and facilitated peer support. The School of Medicine maintains a specific director position, recently elevated as the Director of Wellness Initiatives, who provides mental health support to individual medical students through weekly office hours, provides consultation on wellness event programming and opportunities for connectedness and belonging, and is responsible for providing the direction, management and innovative growth of wellness support and initiatives in our school. 


Formal Counseling and Psychological Services

UCSD Counseling and Psychological Services

All medical students have full access to the UCSD Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) services on the main campus. For medical students, the CAPS offices are a walk across the street from the medial campus. CAPS is part of UCSD Student Health, and students’ confidentiality is protected.  

The UC San Diego Healer Education Assessment and Referral Program (HEAR)

By virtue of being medical students in our health system, our students also have access to the UC San Diego Health Sciences HEAR program. This program was created to offer confidential support and resources to those any UCSD medical student, pharmacy student, resident, fellow, faculty, or hospital staff member in need, and is completely anonymous and confidential. 


On-Site Individualized Mental Health Support

"Let's talk" Office Hours

In addition to the formal counseling and psychological services available at CAPS, CAPS providers offer weekly, onsite, one-on-one "Let’s Talk” sessions for our medical students seeking informal support and assistance. CAPS liaisons offer practical strategies, information, and support regarding general wellness-related issues and can also help students access additional mental health care at CAPS or in the San Diego community if needed.

Office hours with our director of wellness initiatives

The Director of Wellness Initiatives for the School of Medicine also holds office hours twice a week in which medical students can obtain informal support and assistance with common wellness issues such as anxiety, stress, relationships, sleep, and time management.


Wellness programming

Wellness Events

Wellness events are offered at least quarterly for our students. These include events such as Academic Community (AC) Cups, outings, socials, therapy pet visits, and numerous gatherings.   

Wellness Didactics and sessions

In addition to wellness events, our medical students receive structured sessions on wellness promotion. These cover topics such as burn-out, dealing with grief, United States Medical Licensing Examination (USLME) stress-mitigation and performance enhancement. Our students also have full access to focus groups specific to professional graduate students put on by main campus CAPS, workshops and training provided by the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, and symposia and sessions put on through the T. Denny Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion . 


Peer Support and Coaching

BIG sibs and senior mentors

Our medical students are mentrored by a supportive faculty, including deans and their Academic Community Directors. Our medical students also have peer support in their form of a "Big Sib" in the class ahead of them, and Senior Mentors in their Academic Community they can go to for advice and support.

Peer resilience mentoring program

The way we educate our medical students leads to a supported progression through the curriculum. Occasionally, however, a student may encounter academic difficulty. We provide academic support to our students through our dedicated Office of Educational Support Services. To support our students to through the emotional toll of encountering academic difficulty, the Office of Student Affairs maintains a Peer Resilience Mentorship Program, in which senior medical students who have experienced academic difficulty provide one-on-one advice, guidance and support to junior medical students who are experiencing something similar.