What we do

General sessions

On a typical Saturday, HealthLink students meet at UCSF Parnassus campus located in the Inner Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco. Upon arrival, mentees have breakfast with their mentors. Breakfast is followed by an ice-breaker activity before students break out into workshops. Our hands-on workshops allow students to explore the wonders of the human body as they intersect with the various health professions. Career-focused workshops are also included, helping students to visualize their path from high school to college and on to graduate school. 


Past sessions

October Welcome to HealthLink The first HealthLink session of the year introduced the mentees and mentors to one another and established teams that students remained in throughout the year. Teams participated in a campus-wide scavenger hunt to give students bearings around the various professional schools at UCSF!
November Exploring the Health Professions The second HealthLink session brought together UCSF students from the Dental, Nursing, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy, and Medicine schools to lead informative and interactive sessions pertaining to their profession. Students were able to practice reading drug labels with Pharmacy students, take impressions of their teeth with Dental students, listen to and record “vital signs” with Medical and Nursing students, and practice common rehabilitation exercises with Physical Therapy students!
December Healthy Heart The last session of the calendar year allowed students to explore the all-important cardiovascular system. Students worked with gross heart specimens from the Medical student Anatomy lab, identifying the major anatomical features of the human heart. They also learned about the origin and development of a variety of cardiovascular diseases. Lastly, students had the opportunity to use an ultrasound machine to visualize a live, beating heart!
February The Beauty of Breathing For the first session back, students explored the beauty of the human respiratory system. They learned how to identify normal and abnormal breathing sounds with stethoscopes, used models to demonstrate the diaphragm’s integral role in getting air into our lungs, and interacted with both healthy and diseased lung specimens! Students also spent an hour in the “Looking to the Future” workshop where they were able to explore a variety of career and academic interests with their mentor using an interactive online tool known as “BigFuture”
March GUTS The next chapter in our exploration of the human body involved the integral gastrointestinal system, where students enjoyed several hands-on workshops. Students used scientific calorimetry methods to determine the amounts of energy contained in different types of food, used models to understand how peristalsis moves food through the GI system, and even interacted with gross intestine specimens!
April Bones, Brains, and Teeth In the last session before graduation, students were treated to 3 amazingly interactive sessions. Inside UCSF’s Dental Simulation Lab, dental students taught mentees about essential oral health practices, followed by drilling and cavity-filling sessions on simulation dummies! In the second workshop, students learned about the basics of human bone anatomy and were able to analyze actual X-ray images of broken bones. Finally, students learned basic facts about the human Nervous System and interacted with a gross specimen of a spinal cord!

The Beauty of Breathing HealthLink Session
GUTS HealthLink Session
Bones, Brain, and Teeth HealthLink Session

Future sessions

  • HealthLink Graduation
    • Brains
    • Olympics Competion
    • End of year send off!