The Doctoral Diversity Program (DDP) is our post-baccalaureate component of the Johns Hopkins Initiative for Careers in Science and Medicine (CSM Initiative) pipeline program.  The CSM Initiative seeks to develop scholars from low-income and diverse backgrounds to help them build the accomplishments, skills, network, and support necessary to achieve advanced careers in biomedical, medical, health-related, and STEM professions.

The DDP program, directed by Dr. Deidra Crews (Associate Professor of Medicine/physician-scientist), admits ~5-8 scholars per year interested in pursuing MD, MD/PhD, PhD, and other health and biomedical research careers.  The program receives ~150 applications annually, yielding ~3-5% acceptance rate. Selected scholars spend up to 2 years in the DDP.

While in the program, DDP Scholars join a research lab at Johns Hopkins and conduct rigorous original research that they get to publish (check out the Publications page).  Scholars receive course work in scientific scholarly writing and Kaplan MCAT, GRE, or DAT exam preparation as appropriate for each scholar.  Scholars get extensive clinician shadowing opportunities and participate in a lunch and learn seminar series where they hear from extraordinary leaders in the medical and biomedical communities from UIS/UIM backgrounds.

Scholars benefit from peer mentorship and guidance from the DDP Director during monthly ‘Coffee Breaks’ inclusive of small groups of DDP scholars. Scholars also meet individually with the DDP Director to identify specific areas to strengthen. The scholar and research mentor form strong, productive bonds that foster the scholar’s growth. The scholars also join a longitudinal mentor group, which is led by a CSM faculty member. This group provides yet another opportunity for network building and mentorship that benefits the scholar as they move forward with their career.

To date, 26 scholars have participated in the DDP.  Of the first 22, 86% have been accepted into MD, MD/PhD, or PhD programs at a variety of institutions across the country, including at Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Brown, Albert Einstein, Baylor, Kennesaw State, Duke, Emory, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Ohio State, Tufts, University of Chicago, Georgetown, and Oregon Health Sciences among others.  5% matriculated into MS programs 5% became research scientists, and 5% joined Teach for America to become a high school biology teacher.

If you are interested in applying to the DDP, the application may be found here.

If you want to learn more about the DDP, please contact Dr. Deidra Crews (

If you are interested in helping support the Johns Hopkins Initiative for Careers in Science and Medicine, please contact Katie Sullivan, Associate Director of Development (


Example Publications Authored by CSM Scholars

Park J, Saha S, Chee B, Taylor J, Beach MC. 2021. Physician Use of Stigmatizing Language in Patient Medical Records. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(7):e2117052. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.17052
Smith TA, Moore BN, Matoso A, Berkowitz DE, DeBerry JJ, Pluznick JL. Identification of novel bladder sensory GPCRs. Physiol. Rep. 2021; 9(8):e14840. doi: 10.14814/phy2.14840. 
Beach MC, Park J, Han D, Evans C, Moore RD, Saha S. Clinician response to patient emotion: Impact on subsequent communication and visit length. Annals of Family Medicine (in press).
Mamo M, Ye IC, DiGiacomo JW, Park JY, Downs B, and Gilkes DM. Hypoxia alters the response to anti-EGFR therapy by regulating EGFR expression and downstream signaling in a DNA methylation-specific and HIF-dependent manner. Canc. Res. 2020, 80(22): 4998-5010.  DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-1232
Bicket AK, Mihailovic A, Zheng C, Kashaf MS, Nagarajan N, Huang AS, Chapagain S, Da J, Ramulu PY. Comparison of patient-reported functional recovery from different types of ophthalmic surgery. Am J Ophthalmol. 2021 S0002-9394(21)00083-0. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajo.2021.02.018