Medical Student Well-Being

Your Wellness is Our Priority

UCSF strives to provide support for our students' mental and physical health, as well as spiritual, financial, environmental, and social well-being. Our priority is to support our students well-being through a variety of resources and programs available on-campus and through the medical school.


For Urgent Help

  • School of Medicine 24-Hour Urgent Line: (415) 476-1216, option 1
  • UCSF Student Mental Health and Wellbeing: (415) 476-1281, option 2
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988
  • National Crisis Text Line: 741741

Medical Student Well-Being Resources

Below are resources provided for medical students by the School of Medicine and links to well-being resources for all UCSF students. 

Student Experience Team

Thriving in medical school, navigating career choices, and transitioning into residency training presents new opportunities and potential challenges. The UCSF School of Medicine Student Experience Team (SET) supports you during these transitions and helps you on your way to becoming a 21st Century Physician.

Medical Student Well-Being Program (MSWB)

Free Psychotherapy and Medication Management

The staff for this program is specially trained in working with medical students. This service is free to all medical students currently registered at UCSF and will always be confidential. We want you to feel safe here at UCSF and we are here to assist you with a broad range of difficulties that may arise during your medical education. To request free psychotherapy or medication management, please schedule an appointment below with Dr. Howard Rubin or Dr. Alice Hua via email or by calling 415-476-0468. To encrypt your UCSF email message and request an appointment, please use “Secure: Appointment Request” in the email subject line.

If you are medical student not currently registered at UCSF (e.g., on leave of absence, registered at UC Berkeley through the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program, etc.), you are welcome to reach out about referrals.

Dr. Howard Rubin, Psychiatrist Director, Medical Student Well-being

Howard Rubin, MD, Psychiatrist
Director, Medical Student Well-being
Please contact Dr. Rubin for initial psychiatric consultation and medication management. 


Dr. Rubin (he/him) earned his MD at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He began his residency in psychiatry at Bellevue/NYU Medical Center and completed his training with a fellowship in psychopharmacology research at University of California, San Diego. He continued his post-graduate studies as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Scholar and earned a Master’s degree in Health Services at University of California, Los Angeles. Professional interests include LGBT issues and group and existential psychotherapy.

Dr. Alice Hua

Alice Hua, PhD, Clinical Psychologist 
Psychologist, Medical Student Well-Being
Please contact Dr. Hua for psychotherapy.

Contact Dr. Alice Hua

Dr. Hua (she/her) earned her PhD in clinical psychology at University of California, Berkeley. She completed her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at University of California, San Francisco in the Psychiatry and Neurology departments. Her approach is affirming of all identities and their intersections. She works with clients to acknowledge their strengths, address the impacts of culture and oppressive systems on mental health, and build skills rooted in clients’ goals and values. 

Medical Student Well-Being Programs

The MSWB Program also organizes and leads workshops and presentations to support your wellness throughout the school year. MSWB PROGRAMS

Therapy Services Affiliated with UCSF 

All registered UCSF medical students are eligible for the following services, regardless of insurance coverage 

  • Medical Student Well-Being Program provides free therapy and psychiatry appointments for registered UCSF medical students. Therapy sessions are offered as a short-term service. 
  • UCSF Student Mental Health and Wellbeing (SMHW) offers individual therapy, clinical and outreach groups, and psychiatry appointments, with the option of requesting same-day mental health/counseling visit for registered UCSF students. Therapy sessions are offered as a short-term service. Review the Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Overview of Services.
  • TAO is a free, individualized, and self-directed resource which was created using evidence-based therapy practices.

Services available depending on insurance coverage

  • For students covered through UC SHIP, Lyra Health offers no-cost, on-demand confidential care for emotional and mental health support without a referral. Members (students, their spouses, and dependents) have access to Lyra’s self-service wellness tools including research-based self-care resources.
  • For medical students covered through any insurance with the exception of UC SHIP, Headspace Care for Medical Students (formerly Ginger) offers free on-demand, confidential emotional and mental health support through coaching via text-based chats, self-guided activities, and video-based therapy and psychiatry. Students can access up to eight video-based sessions per plan year (February 2023-December 2023, January 2024-June 2024), and have unlimited access to app-based coaching and self-guided activities.

Additional Therapy Options

For more information on therapy services not affiliated with UCSF, including in-network and out of network therapy options and sources to search for therapists by lived experience or identity, see Additional Therapy Options for UCSF Medical Students.

UCSF Student Mental Health and Wellbeing

The mission of UCSF Student Mental Health and Wellbeing is to optimize the mental health of students in order to help them achieve academic success, personal development and lifelong wellness.

Wellness and Mental Health Committee

The Wellness and Mental Health Committee (WMHC) is a collaboration between students, staff, and faculty members who are dedicated to addressing wellness and mental health of students in the School of Medicine. The committee, which reports to the Associate Dean for Students, hopes to promote general wellness for our community, with a particular focus on identifying systemic barriers that medical students may face when interfacing with mental health services. 

For more information about the Wellness and Mental Health Committee please contact:

Andrew Halls
Faculty Co-Chair

Jessica Crockett
Student Co-Chair

MedPeers Program

This program connects medical students with peers who have completed at least three years of medical school. MedPeers can help with issues related to struggling with shelf exams, dealing with romantic relationships during medical school, determining whether you should file a SAFE report, finding career advisors in various specialties, navigating financial resources, unique challenges for students who identify as LGBTQ+, first-gen, UIM, and/or have a disability/chronic illness. Email and the MedPeer on call will respond within 12-24 hours.

 Contact MedPeers

Help a Peer Facing Mental Health Concerns

Have you noticed a fellow classmate experiencing mental health concerns or a mental health crisis?

Learn how you can help.

Tips for UCSF Medical Students New to Therapy

Are you curious about therapy, but not sure what to expect? Learn tips on how to approach therapy.

Online Mindfulness Resources

In addition to maintaining a regular schedule of eating well, sleeping, and exercising as you are able, we recommend taking time to dive into or try out a meditative or reflective practice of your choice – see a few options that colleagues have recommended below.  

  • Calm has curated a list of free resources to use
  • Insight Timer Free meditation app
    • Meditation for Insomnia: This particular meditation (Yoga Nidra for Sleep) is AMAZING for sleep induction. 
  • SELF-COMPASSION WITH KRISTIN NEFF Many different exercises that can remind you of the mantra, "You have enough, you know enough, you do enough, you ARE enough."