UCLA Medical Students Bring Therapeutic Arts to Patients

As first and second year medical students, we rarely have the opportunity to interact with patients outside of the clinical setting. Being a part of TAG allowed us a space to develop our rapport building skills and provide a dual therapeutic benefit for both the patient and the students. — UCLA Medical Student

I felt free to express my mental short comings due to my mental deficit but had a ton of fun forgetting all of that and enjoying the company. — UCLA Patient, 10/7/2016

It (guided imagery with music) allowed a space to reduce stress. And also an inspiration to keep it going as a habit upon release from hospital. Many thanks. UCLA Patient, 5/19/2017

What youre doing is good for someone who is down in the dumps. UCLA Patient, 9/16/2016


The Therapeutic Arts Group (TAG) at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA is a medical student-run organization that brings arts experiences designed for social-emotional benefit to hospital inpatients. The medical student volunteers are trained annually by UCLArts & Healing in the Medical Social Emotional Arts Program, which enables them to bring weekly music, writing, movement and art activities to patients and families of the neurosurgery/stroke unit at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

The arts activities give participants a voice for their feelings, an opportunity for reflection and meaningful dialogue, and a way to connect. They also empower participants with tools for managing stress and pain, as well as improving mood. All parties involved benefit from the interactions, including the medical student facilitators who develop greater empathy for patients and ability to connect with them. These are also opportunities for self-care.

The TAG medical student group, which was founded in early 2016, expanded to include UCLA undergraduate volunteers as well.

If your department would like to have TAG volunteer services, please email us at info@uclartsandhealing.org or call us at (310) 452-1439.

Click here for more information on the Medical Social Emotional Arts Training Program.