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Student Interest Groups

The School of Medicine has a variety of student-run specialty interest groups that facilitate interaction and dialogue with relevant specialty physicians. The interest groups help organize specialty panels and also schedule sessions on topics related to residency.

For information on joining a specific group, contact or visit the Office of Student Affairs.

American Association of Neurological Surgeons

The AANS promotes the highest quality of patient care and advances the specialty of neurological surgery. Through values of integrity, professionalism, leadership, and excellence they look to further and foster the interest in the field of neurosurgery. A medical student chapter would introduce and aid students that are interested in neurosurgery and allow an appreciation for the field.

American Medical Student Association

The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) is a student-governed, national organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. 

AMSA is committed to:

  • Improving health care and health care delivery to all people.
  • Promoting active improvement of medical education; to involve its members in the social, moral, and ethical obligation of the profession of medicine.
  • Contributing to the welfare of medical students.
  • Advancing the profession of medicine.

American Medical Women's Association

The American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) is an organization which functions at the local, national, and international level to advance women in medicine and improve women’s health. AMWA membership is comprised of physicians, residents, medical students, pre-medical students, healthcare professionals, and allies. At UC Riverside School of Medicine, AMWA brings together the perspectives of medical students and faculty mentors to advocate for improved health access for women which includes advancing women's health research and improving women's health education. The UCR chapter strives to organize events and mobilize resources within the UCRSOM community to support women pursuing a career in medicine.

Anesthesiology Student Interest Group

The Anesthesiology Student Interest Group (ASIG) is composed of UCR medical students interested in pursuing careers in anesthesiology. Our mission is to provide UC Riverside medical students with increased exposure to the field of anesthesiology through the use of educational lectures, technical workshops, research engagement, and mentorship opportunities. We hope to excite students and help them better understand the training, career paths, and lifestyles of practicing anesthesiologists.

Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association

The Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) chapter at UCR School of Medicine aims to address the unique health challenges of the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities in the Inland Southern California. APAMSA serves as a forum for students to engage these health issues and develop initiatives and projects to address the needs of the community. Our goal is to bridge the gap between the culturally and linguistically isolated API communities and their access to quality health care. We provide students with the opportunity to volunteer at health events and educate community members on relevant health issues to improve their health and well-being. We educate our members on relevant issues concerning API health to foster inclusivity and to improve cultural competency at the UCR School of Medicine. We also aim to increase the leadership capacity of medical students through a mentorship program with undergraduates, promoting a culture of encouragement for younger students who are passionate about medicine. We provide an important venue for medical students to meet, exchange experiences, and develop personally and professionally through leadership and service. 

Bhagat Puran Singh Health Initiative

Our mission to empower communities through preventive care and educational measures relies on a universal standard of care and a culture of professionalism across all chapters, allowing us to engage respectfully and effectively with the communities we serve. We strive to break barriers and stigmas in cultivating unique approaches to health issues in our community. Our priorities are innovation in volunteer development, resource development and clinical service development.

We strive to provide services with equal accessibility to all the communities we serve through the elimination of traditional barriers to healthcare caused by lack of native language resources and culturally sensitive providers. Our events, meetings, and facilities are safe spaces where patients can expect sensitive care that is free of stigma/pre-judgment and inclusive to all backgrounds.

Christian Medical and Dental Association

The Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) is a non-denominational group of Christian students who gather on a regular basis for worship, Bible study, prayer, and fellowship. Any medical student, regardless of faith or spiritual background, is welcome to come to any CMDA meeting.

Coachella Valley Free Clinic

Coachella Valley Free Clinic is a consortium of universities, colleges, and community partners across the Inland Empire that provide free health care services to underserved and vulnerable populations in rural communities in the Coachella Valley, as well as opportunity for the next generation of healthcare professionals to train, learn, and practice structurally and culturally competent care.

Dermatology Interest Group

The mission of UCR SOM's Dermatology Interest Group (DIG) is to create a community and resource for students considering a career in dermatology, as well as opportunities for students to form prolific relationships with members in the field of dermatology.

Emergency Medicine Interest Group

This selective introduces emergency medicine to interested UCR students through interactive workshops, guest speakers, movie screenings, opportunities to attend conferences and other educational activities.

Workshops focus on particular skills used by emergency physicians, incorporating mannikins and other practice equipment. Past workshops have taught endotracheal intubation, cricothyrotomy, emergency ultrasound techniques, IV placement, dressing and splinting wounds, code blue response and problem-solving cardiac emergencies as well as other skills. Residency directors and attending physicians from local EM residency programs have spoken on various topics, including advantages and disadvantages of working in emergency medical services, how to get into EM residencies, resident lifestyle, and how to shine during third and fourth year EM rotations. Students have also attended local Southern California EM conferences.

The selective is run by student members of the UCR Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG); all members are invited to contribute their ideas for events. Completion of the course requires a minimum of sixteen hours of contact time. Students who successfully do so will receive one credit and have it listed on their transcript as evidence of their interest in emergency medicine.

Environmental Health in Medicine

With changes in climate come drastic changes in disease and medical professionals must be equipped with knowledge to respond. This interest group focuses on the implications of climate change:

  • On the spread of disease as vector species take over new regions
  • On the prevalence of specific diseases in certain geographical regions
  • On the rise of systemic conditions related to increases in pollutants and allergens
  • And it’s role in food scarcity and health of under-served populations

We will take action in our local community with environmental related service, host journal clubs relaying climate impacts on disease, and foster consideration of patient’s environment on their future health.

Family and Preventive Medicine Interest Group

The UCR Family Medicine Interest Group introduces students to the opportunities and philosophies of family and preventive medicine through various interactive and educational experiences in the UCR community and beyond. This includes mentorship opportunities, training in vital clinical and history-taking skills, and presentations from various family physician members in our community. Our hope is to continue to expand and provide additional opportunities for UCR medical students through future partnership with AAFP.

First Generation and Low Income in Medicine

First Generation and Low Income in Medicine (FGLI Med) at UCR SOM highlights the particularly arduous path that students who are the first in their family to attend college experience in pursuit of a higher education. This organization welcomes students who identify as first generation, low-income, or consider themselves disadvantaged to come together and connect with other undergraduate students, professional students, residents, fellows, and faculty that come from similar backgrounds. We aim to promote opportunities for current first generation and low income students, residents, and faculty that focus on self-preservation and well-being through the first generation lens. We hope that this serves as an emotional and academic support system for FGLI Med students. We seek to celebrate, build community, facilitate and highlight the success of the first generation and disadvantaged communities.

Global Health Interest Group

The mission of the Global Health Interest Group at the UC Riverside School of Medicine is to provide broad opportunities for medical students to learn about current and past challenges within the field of global health through guest lectures, student-led discussions, medical partnerships, and community engagement.

Health Equity and Structural Competency Collective

HESCC raises consciousness and joins actions to address sociopolitical and economic conditions that create disparate health outcomes and life chances. We also comprise the executive planning committee of the annual Structural Competency Conference.

Hematology Oncology Palliative and End of Life Care (H.O.P.E) Group

The mission of the Hematology Oncology Palliative and End of Life Care (H.O.P.E) Group at UC Riverside School of Medicine is to provide broad opportunities for medical students to get exposure to the field of hematology, oncology and palliative care in both adult and pediatric populations. Through guest lectures, student-led discussions, patient panels, and clinical rotations, we aim to:

  • Promote awareness of cultural sensitivity in relation to interacting with cancer patients and points of view about death/dying.
  • Explore factors contributing to health inequalities and access to cancer treatments in Inland Empire area, and with the hope to present at AACR Health Disparity Conference.
  • Learn about implementing health policy to improve the care of cancer patients both locally and globally.
  • Get exposure to various clinics to gain clinical skills in hematology, oncology and palliative care.
  • Participate into various community events to raise cancer funding, such as Light the Night and/or Relay for Life.
  • Raise awareness of ethnicity in selection of bone marrow donors through hosting drives with Be a Hero-Become a Donor and/or Be the Match organizations.
  • Be recognized as a student organization by ASCO.

Internal Medicine Interest Group

The Internal Medicine Interest Group works to increase medical student awareness in the field of internal medicine. Medical students will have the opportunity to attend guest speaker events on internal medicine and subspecialties, network with internal medicine physicians, attend workshops, participate in internal medicine-related conferences and promote community health.

Latino Medical Student Association

The purpose of the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) is to unify and provide a voice to all Latino and underrepresented medical students, and to educate and sensitize the entire medical community to the specific needs and differences of Latino and underrepresented Inland Empire communities regarding health and human well-being. It will be an advocate for the rights of Latinos and underrepresented Inland Empire communities, and it will educate medical students on health issues specific to those communities, while improving the health care delivery to those communities. In addition, it will actively promote the recruitment and retention of Latino and underrepresented students at all levels, and it will retain its members in the health professions programs by supporting academic and social activities and by fostering close ties among its members. LMSA will provide leadership opportunities and promote volunteerism among its members, and it will provide a network with other organizations at the local and national levels to achieve common objectives.

LGBT+ Health Interest Group

The mission of UC Riverside School of Medicine's LGBT+ Health Interest Group is to maintain an active and welcoming presence in the school of medicine, to mentor the next generation of LGBT+ health leaders, and to further the school of medicine's values of promoting inclusion, integrity, innovation, excellence, accountability, and respect.

Medical Students For Choice

The purpose for Medical Students for Choice is to create tomorrow’s Abortion Providers and Pro-Choice Physicians. We believe that all people should have access to health services that allow them to lead safe, healthy lives including all aspects of sexual and reproductive health consistent with their own personal and cultural values. Our work is guided by the following values:

  • All reproductive health choices should be freely accessible to all people.
  • People are the experts on their own bodies and experiences.
  • All people have the right to make their own decisions regarding sexuality, health, and whether and when to have children.
  • Sexual health decisions such as abortion affect people of all identities.
  • All social justice movements intersect and therefore achieving our mission requires working collaboratively to overcome all forms of oppression.
  • All people are entitled to empathy and compassionate medical care without judgment.
  • Providing abortion care is a deeply moral decision. Abortion and contraception are vital aspects of medical care that should be embraced as standard practice and as fundamental to medical education.

Medical Students for Immigrant Justice

Medical Students for Immigrant Justice at UCR is a student-led collective organizing in partnership with local groups and a student asylum clinic at UCR School of Medicine. We collaborate with community and university groups regarding immigrant health and rights. We offer pro-bono forensic medical and psychiatric evaluations for individuals seeking asylum in the U.S.

MedStrong at UCR School of Medicine

The mission of MedStrong at UCR School of Medicine is to promote physical and mental fitness for our medical student community. Medical school is intense, and it is imperative that we take care of ourselves first, in order to better serve others. Medicine is a profession of passion and dedication. By the same token, burn out is a hidden epidemic. In MedStrong, we aim not only to promote self-care while in med school, but also to build habits of higher-level mental and physical fitness that we can carry onward to nourish, fuel, and inspire ourselves as future-physicians.

MedStrong endeavors to emphasize strong a sense of community, providing ways to stay active, inspired and connected creating bridges across all types of isolation.

Nutrition in Medicine Interest Group

The Nutrition in Medicine interest group serves to empower students with the knowledge that nutrition plays a key role in one’s health. The group plans to provide nutrition education via information sessions and newsletters as well as outreach events that would be able to help students make more informed food choices that promote a healthy weight and overall well-being for themselves as well as for future patients.

Obstetrics/Gynecology Interest Group

The Obstetrics and Gynecology Interest Group introduces students to the field of OBGYN in order to foster a better understanding of women's healthcare and disease prevention. Students will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn various aspects of prenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum care and women's health maintenance.
  • Gain insight on taking a focused and thorough OBGYN history and practice physical exam skills.
  • Participate in simulated workshops.
  • Obtain residency and career advice through mentorship opportunities with upperclassman and faculty and organized physician panels.

Older Adult Care

The Older Adult Care interest group's main mission is to broaden medical students’ awareness, interest, and advocacy on issues concerning older adults and their care. The interest group will facilitate the opportunity to learn about practical topics and methods today’s primary care physicians can apply when caring for their older patients. These topics will include exploring the social, cognitive, sensory, and motor skill changes and issues faced by a growing aging population and how physicians can holistically manage their plan of care in a way that is relevant to healthcare delivery in the 21stcentury. The interest group will focus on topics related to older adult care such as polypharmacy, depression, promoting quality of life, fall risk, dementia, neglect and abuse to name a few.

 The group is open to any student who is interested in learning about the healthcare of older adults or who plans to serve older adults in their practice. We would like our fellow peers to be well informed about the issues the older adult community faces to develop how they may best advise and treat them. Further, we would like to start by having monthly informational meetings, in which a speaker comes and discusses a subject. Later on, depending on the interest, we would like to include a community service component such as visiting an assisted living facility or a memory care unit to provide our members first-hand knowledge and experience on understanding some of the challenges of caring for the elderly in these facilities.

Ophthalmology Interest Group

The purpose of the Ophthalmology Interest Group is to provide information about this specialty. It is a highly specialized field with very little exposure to most medical students, especially in their preclinical years. Our goals for this group are to provide guidance in matching into ophthalmology, create shadowing opportunities in ophthalmology, and allow students to meet with practicing ophthalmologists in the Inland Empire. This group allows students to work together who are applying for ophthalmology residency and find mentors who have already matched.

Organized Medicine

Organized Medicine seeks to train future health care providers in effective civic engagement, to promote medical student involvement in health policy, and to provide UCR student representation at local, state, and national advocacy events.

Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Interest Group

The goal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Interest Group (OSSMIG) is to provide all interested students with an early exposure and access to the wide-ranging subspecialties within the fields of Orthopaedic Surgery and associated Sports Medicine Fellowships from other disciplines (Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation). This is accomplished through meetings with surgeons from a variety of sub-specialties in the orthopaedic field including spine, joint replacement, pediatrics, sports medicine, trauma, etc. In addition, physicians from other non-surgical disciplines with fellowship training in Sports Medicine will also be invited to give talks and conduct workshops throughout the academic year. Furthermore, OSSMIG's goal is to provide information regarding local physician shadowing and relevant research and externship opportunities. Students who are considering a career in orthopaedic surgery or sports medicine fellowships, as well as those who are simply curious about the field are invited to join.

Pediatric Interest Group

The Pediatrics Interest Group promotes exploration of pediatrics and its sub-specialties, organizing outreach programs, providing opportunities for mentorship and career guidance, and creating greater awareness of issues involving children, their families, and the Riverside community.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Interest Group

To provide opportunities and early exposure for those who are interested in the diverse field of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. To assist students in identifying research opportunities and faculty advisors, and to offer workshops for residency application preparation.

Project Sunshine

Project Sunshine is a nonprofit, national organization that provides free educational, recreational, & social programs to children and families living with medical challenges. Project Sunshine promotes key elements of childhood like play, learning, & socialization in the hospital environment – restoring a sense of normalcy for pediatric patients and their families. As medical students, we organize toy drop-offs at local hospitals to bring joy into children’s lives and to help restore some sense of normalcy. Kids should be able to play, even when confined to a bed all day. We take pride in reshaping the idea that white coats only bring bad news, so instead, we deliver toys and bring smiles to kiddos! As of last year, the Project Sunshine UCR SOM Chapter has partnered with RUHS in Moreno Valley and we are excited to continue to spread smiles and sunshine across the halls of the pediatric floors of the hospital.

Psychiatry Interest Group

The Psychiatry Interest Group introduces medical students to the specialty of psychiatry by:

  • Fostering interaction with clinical faculty and community physicians.
  • Bringing guest speakers to discuss special topics (e.g. forensic psychiatry, work-life balance).
  • Providing opportunities for shadowing in various settings (outpatient, inpatient, etc.).

Riverside Free Clinic

RFC is a nonprofit organization that provides free interdisciplinary health and wellness care to the underserved population of the Inland Empire while also providing an effective training environment for future healthcare professionals and leaders dedicated to serving the Inland Empire. We are supporting the elimination of health disparities for the Inland Empire’s underserved through quality health and wellness care.

San Bernardino Free Clinic

To use a holistic and sustainable approach to address the health disparities of the San Bernardino County and to provide much-needed medical assistance to people who lack proper medical care and are unable to access medical care. With this, the SBFC seeks to improve some of the more common health problems in San Bernardino and will intervene to challenge health disparities and chronic diseases.

Street Medicine

The UC Riverside Street Medicine Team mission is to ensure access to quality medical care to the homeless population in Riverside, through an interprofessional network. We seek to bridge the gap between the homeless and the medical community, by setting up a clinic close to where most reside, and we also provide services by going directly to the patients if they do not feel comfortable going to our clinic. Our goal is to build relationships and trust by offering our help and support.

Student Interest Group in Neurology

UCR SOM Neurology interest group aims to foster student interest in neurology through physician and resident guest lectures, A&A panels, student mentorship with current neurology residents and clinical exposure to the field of neurology via the UCR School of Medicine and UCR Health department of Neurology and Neurosciences. This is the first Neurology related interest group at UCR and fosters a great deal of student communication with the field and the practice of the specialty. Our missions stems to build strong partnerships with local neurology departments, including but not limited to, UCR Health Citrus Towers, RCH, and RUHS.

Student National Medical Association

SNMA is committed to supporting current and future underrepresented minority medical students, addressing the needs of underserved communities, and increasing the number of clinically excellent, culturally competent and socially conscious physicians.

The UCR School of Medicine chapter of SNMA has adapted this mission and strives to achieve these goals within the UCR School of Medicine and greater Riverside community.

Surgical Interest Group

The UCR School of Medicine Surgical Interest Group provides an opportunity for students to discuss contemporary surgical issues, including meeting the needs of underserved communities, and interact and exchange ideas with surgical professionals and other students. In addition, the organization:

  • Improves career exploration opportunities in surgical fields by organizing a network of surgeon and surgeon residents from various specialties who are interested in serving as student mentors.
  • Provides elective course/lab to better prepare members and the UCR School of Medicine students for surgical rotations, including critical care procedures, basic surgical techniques and gowning.
  • Creates leadership positions for medical students in the organization who are interested and are actively exploring the research aspect of a surgical field.


The UCR COVID Hotline is a medical student run public health initiative to support the Inland Empire in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Student physicians will engage with the community through phone calls/texts by: administering screenings for COVID-19 symptoms, assisting in coordinating to higher level care as needed, and providing public health education in line with up-to-date CDC guidelines. Students will also contact individuals at highest risk for adverse outcomes from COVID-19, including the elderly, immigrants, the uninsured, and those identified by community organizations.

UCR Muslim Medical Student Association

The UCR Muslim Medical Association strives to create a spiritually nurturing and inclusive space at the UCR School of Medicine and its affiliated hospitals. Our goal is to maintain service activities, mentorship programs with the undergraduate campus, and educational programming while encouraging professional interactions between Muslim healthcare providers and our current students. We hope to participate in various community service opportunities while constantly evaluating topics within medicine as they pertain to the Islamic faith and the broader Muslim community.

Ultrasound Student Instructor Cadre

USSIC is a 100% student run selective in which we strive to provide high quality hands-on education with Point of Care Ultrasound. The focus of the Ultrasound Student Instructor Selective is to educate second year (MS2), and third year (MS3) medical students as student instructors (SI). The SIs will introduce basic concepts, uses, strengths and weaknesses of medical US to first year medical students while reinforcing these same foundational US subjects for the MS2s and MS3s.

This selective is structured in two directions. Enrolled MS1s and MS2s will receive specific instruction in ultrasound utilization and its integration into clinical practice. SIs will also receive exposure to foundational learning theories and instruction in teaching techniques. The SI cadre will receive guidance and training under the mentorship and supervision of the selective faculty advisor.

UV & Me

Our mission is to educate the Nation's youth with the knowledge necessary to protect themselves and their loved ones from the dangers of skin cancer and UV exposure.

Veterans Healing Veterans

For too long there have been disparities in how those who served our country receive care for ailments resultant of their service. The mission of the Veterans Healing Veterans interest group is to work proactively to address the disconnect between military veterans and the U.S. healthcare system. We plan on addressing this disconnect in three key ways:

  • Increasing the number of veterans and military dependents within healthcare professions.
  • Outreach directed towards underserved populations of veterans and their families.
  • Bridging the gap between veterans and health care providers.

The Inland Empire is home to the second largest population of veterans in California. Many of these veterans are homeless, reside in rural areas, and lack access to the proper care they not only need, but deserve. Those who served are all around us - they may be our neighbors, friends, or loved ones and by ensuring our veterans are properly cared for we are strengthening our community. It is our hope that this group will serve as a model for medical and graduate universities throughout the United States to increase the inclusivity of veterans in healthcare professions and inspire other medical facilities to ensure veterans are receiving the medical treatment they need.

White Coats for Black Lives

Eliminating racism in the practice of medicine and recognizing racism as a threat to the health and well-being of people of color by fostering critical dialogue

Attempt to eradicate racial inequality by demanding that academic medical centers serve the healthcare needs of their local communities, particularly the needs of patients of color.

And prepare Future Physicians by improving the recruitment, retention and support of Black, Latinx, and Native American health professional students as well as, develop national health profession schools' curricular standards that educate current and future medical professionals on the history and current manifestations of racism in medicine, principles of anti-racism, and strategies for dismantling structural racism.

Women in Surgery Interest Group

The Women in Surgery Interest Group unites female students interested in surgery. It provides aspiring female surgeons with an avenue to discuss and address issues related to diversity, equity, and professional development. The Women in Surgery Interest Group provides mutual support, exposure to a variety of surgical specialties, resources to combat barriers to choosing surgery, access to female surgeon mentors and prepares students to excel in surgical rotations by inspiring, empowering, and enabling future women surgeons.