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Pediatric Diversity and Inclusion Council

The Johns Hopkins Pediatric Diversity and Inclusion Council is composed of residents, fellows and faculty dedicated to serving those who belong to underrepresented in medicine, sexual and gender minority, disabled and/or any historically marginalized communities. We hope to serve these communities through fostering community, personal and professional development and addressing the unique needs of our communities through advocacy and service both within Hopkins and throughout the Baltimore Community We are committed to: 

  • Promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion among residents, fellows and faculty.
  • Giving back and bolstering ties within the Greater Baltimore community through service, mentorship and engagement.
  • Educating the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center community on culturally competent care.
  • Providing trainees with mentorship, professional career development and social support.
  • The recruitment, retention and advancement of underrepresented physicians within the Department of Pediatrics.

Community Outreach

The pediatric residents at Johns Hopkins have established community ties through various outreach programs, including:

  • MERIT Scholars Program: The MERIT Health Leadership Academy is a comprehensive academic and career mentorship program supporting Baltimore high school students who aspire to careers in medicine. Every year the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Residency Program and Diversity Council host over 50 students for clinical shadowing experiences within the Harriet Lane Clinic and Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
  • Johns Hopkins Centro SOL Programs: Centro SOL was founded in 2013 by passionate Johns Hopkins physicians who saw a need for outreach to the growing Latino community in Baltimore. Our pediatric residents participate in various community and health outreach opportunities offered through this program.
MERIT Scholars ProgramParticipants of the MERIT Scholars Program.

Partnering with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and Latino Medical Student Association (LSMA), the Pediatric Diversity Council is involved with other community outreach activities:

  • Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program (HPREP): HPREP exposes inner-city high school students to science-related activities while introducing them to careers in the health professions. Students in this program receive talks from Johns Hopkins doctors, mentorship and guidance on college essay preparations, and SAT workshops.
  • Community Adolescent Sex Education (CASE): The Sexual Health Awareness program is designed to educate teenagers about their bodies and about the positive use and expression of sexuality. It is intended to increase self-esteem, improve relationships, and decrease the incidence of teen pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

Culture of Diversity and Inclusion

The Pediatric Diversity Council hosts various events throughout the year to promote a culture of diversity and inclusion among residents, fellows and faculty.

  • Pediatric Grand Rounds: The Department of Pediatrics hosts Diversity Grand Rounds each year to promote visibility and discussion of issues related to diversity and inclusion that are relevant to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
  • Noon Conferences and Workshops: Several educational topics surrounding diversity and inclusion are offered, such as mitigating implicit bias and creating effective interactions with culturally and linguistically diverse patients.
  • Book and Movie Clubs: In partnership with the Pediatrics Health Equity Track and Medicine-Pediatrics Urban Health Residency Program, book and movie clubs are held throughout the year on topics relevant to the care of underserved patient populations.
  • Racism, Medicine, and Our Community: Understanding the role of racism in how we practice medicine not only makes us better physicians but is crucial to addressing healthcare disparities and dismantling structures of oppression. As such, the residency program has a longitudinal “Racism, Medicine and Our Community” series which aims to educate trainees with Pediatrics, Medicine, and Medicine-Pediatrics about topics important to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • MLK Day of Service: In conjunction with the House Staff Diversity Council, we participate in the Hopkins-wide MLK Day of Service.
SNMA ConferenceThe Pediatric Residency and Diversity Council at the SNMA conference.


The mission and goal of the Pediatric Residency and Diversity Council is to foster a community of diverse pediatricians who share a common interest in mentorship, service and providing culturally competent care. We strive to have our department better reflect the demographics of the community we serve. We believe that an environment that promotes diversity and inclusiveness promotes excellence and leads to the training of clinicians who are better prepared to provide culturally effective care to the increasingly diverse population of children we serve.

In order to promote diversity within our department, we participate in various recruitment efforts including attendance at local and national medical student conferences (SNMA and LMSA). In addition, we are excited to welcome medical students who are underrepresented in pediatrics to apply for our Visiting Elective Program for Students Underrepresented in Pediatrics.

Why Johns Hopkins Pediatrics?

  • Dr. Joniqua Ceasar

    Combined Medicine-Pediatrics Resident, PGY-3

    "I had the privilege of participating in an away rotation in Pediatric Hematology during my fourth year of medical school. It offered a wonderful opportunity for me to be introduced to the Hopkins culture, which I quickly learned promotes clinical excellence, intellectual curiosity, humility and inclusiveness. Everyone was eager to get to know me as a person, while also helping me to become a better clinician. Knowing that I was interested in Med-Peds, the leadership made sure I was able to explore both interests by arranging shadowing opportunities within Medicine, Pediatrics and Med-Peds.

    "When I returned to Hopkins for my interview, I felt like I was back home. It was great to reconnect with familiar faces and feel like I already had a family here. I remember chatting with the program directors and knowing Hopkins was the place I wanted to train. I knew this program would support my career goals and help me become an excellent clinician who could advocate for her patients and engage in health policy. I could not have imagined a better program. I am excited to learn more about Baltimore, a city that has captured the heart of so many, and consider it home for the next four years."
    Joniqua Ceasar
  • Dr. Tai Hairston

    Health Equity Track Resident, PGY-3

    “When I was an undergraduate student at Johns Hopkins, I mostly stayed on campus and didn’t really engage with the larger city of Baltimore. When I returned to Baltimore as a medical student, I started to explore different neighborhoods in the city and really fell in love with its “charm.” I also began to learn more about the intense needs we have in Baltimore, whether it is for housing, education, employment, or especially, healthcare. I also struggled with what kind of doctor I was going to become and how I was going to give back to the city that gave me so much.

    “I truly found a 'home' in the Pediatrics Department at Johns Hopkins as a medical student. Many attendings and residents I had a chance to work with not only taught me the skill of observation needed in pediatric medicine but also how to identify and combat the social determinants of health in the children we cared for. They always encouraged me to learn at the bedside, to round with a family-first attitude, and challenged me to think about the health of children holistically and not just focusing on pathophysiology. It was no surprise that I jumped on the chance to come back as a resident, and now I have had the privilege to train on the Urban Health/Health Equities track. I’m excited to serve this city by caring for its children alongside world class faculty and my co-residents, who even in the first few months of residency have become dear friends!"
    Tai Hairston
  • Dr. Elizabeth Lee

    Categorical Resident, PGY-3

    “I was fortunately able to experience some insight into Hopkins pediatrics as a visiting medical student prior to my interview day as a part of an away rotation. It was during these experiences that I could firsthand see the authentic passion and genuine care that attending physicians, fellows, and residents demonstrated to not just the patients, but to me as well. I was truly inspired by the commitment to a practice of evidence-based medicine that I saw on a consistent basis, along with the dedication to teaching clinical information whenever possible to improve medical practice in all areas and levels.

    “During my time, I also had the fortune of witnessing the diversity of the Greater Baltimore area and of the people that travel all the way to Hopkins from various corners of the world to receive this level of medical care. Such a widespread appreciation and respect for this institution, along with my experiences, assured me that I would be prepared for any opportunity during and post residency, all of which was reaffirmed on my interview day. I am beyond thankful to join the Hopkins pediatrics team and look forward to contributing to patient care in any way that I can. In my free time, I enjoy reading, cuddling my dog Papito, and exploring Baltimore and cooking with my fiancé."
    Elizabeth Lee
  • Dr. Natalia Philpott

    Categorical Resident, Alumnus

    “I chose Hopkins because I wanted the opportunity to train at a medium-sized program that also served an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse patient population. I felt that few other programs offered the chance to be part of a tertiary referral center while also providing direct care to families of the surrounding community. One of my favorite things about training at Hopkins is that I have the chance to care for a subset of chronically ill children who call Hopkins their medical home, and I have come to know their families very well over my year thus far. My clinic is at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, which was an important draw for me to work with a majority Spanish-speaking population. For fun, my husband (also a pediatric resident), my dog and I enjoy using our annual pass to Shenandoah National Park any chance we get! Baltimore is also home to an amazing food scene, and you can find a festival or neighborhood party nearly every weekend!”
    Natalia Philpott
  • Dr. Maite Del Valle Rolon

    Categorical Resident, PGY-3

    "I knew I wanted a program that allowed me to experience both excellent primary care while at the same time learning to manage complex patients. Although I was initially intimidated by Hopkins’ history and prestige, I was pleasantly surprised by the warm and welcoming nature of everyone at the program. It was made clear from the beginning that excellent patient care is the priority. I have really enjoyed using an evidence-based approach while keeping in mind the individualized needs that each patient comes with.

    "One of my favorite parts of residency is my continuity clinic at Bayview Medical Center, where I get to serve a mostly Hispanic population. It has been very rewarding to be able to help relief some of the language-barrier issues that can arise with the community. It makes me feel closer to home and part of the community.

    "For fun, I like to cook, walk my dog, or explore Baltimore with my co-residents."
    Maite Del Valle Rolon
  • Dr. Tolulope (Tolu) Fatola

    Categorical Resident, PGY-2

    “During medical school, I was fortunate enough to complete a virtual elective at Johns Hopkins through the Health Equity Scholars Program. As a scholar, I was able to network with other students and participated in group discussions and lectures exploring topics relating to health equity and the social determinants of health. Ultimately, I was immersed in information focused on topics I am passionate about, while also surrounded by students and faculty who shared the same interests as me. The program connected me with residents from the Diversity Council, who reached out to me throughout the entire interview cycle! I knew that Hopkins was the right program for me based on my subsequent interactions with faculty members, residents and the program directors. I always felt welcomed and recognized like I was already a part of the Harriet Lane family!

    “As an intern, I am most impressed with how engaged the hospital is with the community it serves.  Johns Hopkins is very proactive when it comes to recognizing the needs of its patients and providing resources that directly address these needs. For example, through Hopkins Community Connection, the Harriet Clinic Clinic screens all patients and their families for food insecurity and can provide food, diapers or formula for families in need! I also appreciate how the program directors and chief residents are constantly asking residents for feedback and allow themselves to be accessible. I find it fascinating how my co-residents all come from such diverse backgrounds and unique experiences but have similar goals when caring for and being an advocate for their patients.  Likewise, senior residents and fellows are very passionate about teaching and have also been an advocate for me as an intern! It is often difficult transitioning from being a medical student to being an intern, and I am truly grateful of how supportive my co-residents, seniors and program leadership have been!”
    Tolulope Fatola

Contact Us

For more information, please contact us at [email protected].

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