UCL Events


Connecting for Wellbeing: An Audience with US Surgeon General Dr. Murthy

19 March 2024, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm

A photo of two students laughing and sharing a meal together followed by the text:  Connecting for Wellbeing: An Audience with US Surgeon General Dr. Murthy

Join Mary McHarg, UCL’s Students’ Union President in conversation with the United States Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, to discuss the importance of relationships in maintaining our wellbeing at university.

Event Information

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UCL Events


G08 - Sir David Davies Lecture Theatre
Roberts Building
Torrington Place

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About the event:

During the event Dr. Murthy and Mary McHarg will discuss the importance of building relationships and maintaining social connections to improve our wellbeing. The event brings together highly acclaimed speakers to discuss why just like exercise and diet, relationships are a key component of our overall health and wellbeing.

The event will examine how we can better communicate our feelings as a collective, build connections and identify what resources are available to those experiencing feelings of loneliness at UCL.


  • 15:45 - Registration opens and guests take their seats
  • 16:00 - Welcome and opening remarks
  • 16:10 - Fireside chat with Dr. Vivek Murthy
  • 16:40 - Q&A with pre-submitted audience questions
  • 17:00 - Event closes, followed by a Wellbeing Cuppa with light refreshments

Please note, that the deadline to submit your questions for Dr. Vivek Murthy has now passed.


There is the option to indicate access requirements that you would like us to be aware of when you book a ticket. Details of the venue and an access guide will be added ahead of the event & shared with all ticket holders.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at  events@ucl.ac.uk if you have any questions.

About the Speakers

Dr Vivek Murthy

Surgeon General of the United States

A photo of Dr Vivek Murthy

Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in March 2021 to serve as the 21st Surgeon General of the United States. As the nation’s top doctor, Dr. Vivek Murthy helps to advance the health and well-being of all Americans and has worked to address critical public health issues. He has issued Surgeon General Advisories on the youth mental health crisis and social media’s impact on youth mental health, the epidemic of loneliness and isolation, and on burnout in the health worker community. Dr. Murthy also issued a Surgeon General’s Framework on mental health in the workplace and he is the first Surgeon General to host a podcast, House Calls with Dr. Vivek Murthy, where he invites guests and listeners to explore how we can all build more connected and meaningful lives.

As Vice Admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Dr. Murthy oversees more than 6,000 dedicated public health officers serving underserved and vulnerable populations. 

Dr. Murthy previously served as the 19th Surgeon General under President Obama. Raised in Miami, Dr. Murthy received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard, his medical degree from the Yale School of Medicine, and his Masters in Business Administration from the Yale School of Management.

Mary McHarg

President at Students' Union UCL

A photo of Mary McHarg

Mary McHarg is the current Students' Union UCL President and serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees at Students’ Union UCL. This follows a successful year as the Activities & Engagement Officer, where she co-wrote the Student Life Strategy and represented UCL’s wide range of sports clubs, societies, arts groups, and volunteering opportunities in various capacities. 
Mary has a passion for student skills development and holistic curricula, having spoken at the UCL Education Conference, featured on Jisc discussions, and written for WonkHE. This is often influenced by various international experiences, having visited higher education institutions across Europe and attended the ACUI conference in North America. They have accrued a breadth of experience acting as a trustee of both Students' Union UCL and Somers Town Community Sports Centre in Camden, and looks forward to extending her representative work nationally through NUS and the Russell Group Students' Unions collective. 

A recent graduate of UCL’s interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences degree program, Mary has experienced the full range of pre-to-post-COVID learning and assessment, across a range of disciplines including art, computer science, Russian language, and media studies. During their studies, Mary was the president of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Society and led an award-winning program of events for women, trans, and non-binary students, Space at the Table.