Medical Student News

Ginger for Medical Students

Announcing a new partnership with Ginger

Announcing a new partnership with Ginger

Ginger is an app that offers confidential, on-demand emotional and mental health support for life challenges through coaching via text-based chats, self-guided activities, and video-based therapy and psychiatry. Coaches are available to chat 24/7, 365 days per year. Private video sessions with a therapist or psychiatrist are available outside of business hours on evenings and weekends. Learn more about how Ginger works.

Medical students, and their dependents age 18 and older, will have unlimited access to Ginger’s coaching services and self-guided activities, as well as up to eight (8) virtual therapy sessions per plan year (February 2022-January 2023). 

No one at UCSF will have access to the list of Ginger participants or the conversations between you and your care team. Information is securely stored and protected as described in Ginger's Privacy Policy and Terms of Service

For more information about Ginger, please review the FAQs provided by Ginger, which includes basic information about Ginger (eligibility, access, cost); description of The Ginger Self-Care Library; information about coaching; how to specify gender/ethnicity/specialty of coaches and therapists; information about Ginger therapists, coaches, and psychiatrists, including qualifications, and more.

Below are some frequently asked questions about how Ginger relates to UCSF’s existing mental health resources:

Does Ginger replace existing campus mental health resources? 

No, Ginger is being offered in addition to the existing campus resources available to you such as Medical Student Well-Being (MSWB) support and Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS). Students who need immediate access to support and are comfortable with receiving support virtually may want to use Ginger. Students who want an in-person option may want to seek support on campus.

How do I decide if I should meet with a provider in Medical Student Wellbeing (MSWB), Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS), or Ginger?

Ginger offers you access to a health coach immediately via text-based chats. MSWB and SHCS gives you access to in-person appointments. 

How is the coaching service that Ginger provides different than the Bridges Curriculum coaching program? 

A Ginger behavioral health coach provides students with personalized support for anxiety, depression, relationships, sleep, and more. Bridges Coaches are UCSF faculty who provide academic guidance for students in support of their professional and personal development throughout their medical school curriculum.

Am I allowed to see a therapist at MSWB or SHCS and use Ginger?

The best support comes from a coordinated care team. If you do opt to work with multiple providers, it is recommended you sign consent forms to allow your care team to communicate and collaborate to improve your care. Please note that typically, seeing two providers simultaneously for therapy is not recommended and should be discussed with your clinician. Coaching is not considered therapy.

After I have used all of my eight therapy sessions in one year, can I still see the same virtual therapist the following year?

Yes. If you need more support beyond the eight (8) covered sessions in one year, video-based therapy and psychiatry services are available with your Ginger clinician ($0 copay for outpatient mental health visits) for those enrolled in the UC SHIP health plan and have a referral on file. Students covered under SHIP must seek authorization from SCHS before continuing care beyond eight (8) sessions with their Ginger clinician.

If you are not enrolled in the UC SHIP health plan, then support can be continued with a Ginger clinician, but cost will be determined based on your medical plan coverage. Students can visit the Thriving Campus website for more options.