The School of Medicine assists students in the transition to medical school through a variety of online and in person experiences.

In July, incoming medical students complete a four week online orientation course. This course is designed to meet the following objectives:

  • start medical school without delay with necessary paperwork and information submitted
  • engage faculty and other students in discussions about assigned readings
  • identify potential challenges and approaches to achieving your maximal success during medical school
  • use the school and campus resources available to help address potential challenges and achieve maximal success
  • enter Launch with comfort and familiarity with the Bridges Curriculum and the basic science content


Launch is the in person portion of medical school orientation. Students spend one day in a large group setting getting to know their classmates, School of Medicine Deans and staff, meeting with near peers, completing important training, and touring the campus.

Students then spend the remaining days of Launch in Differences Matter Orientation. This portion of launch is designed to help medical students practice vital communication skills and understand bias and health disparities in the health care system. Students work in small groups with their Coach to practice skills learned through didactics and personal narratives. Students also spend one afternoon at a San Francisco YMCA location for a community engagement activity.

During Launch, incoming students are also invited to participate in optional social events to build community with their classmates and near peers.